February 2011

Dear reader,

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, it's the perfect time to focus on a subject that's very near and dear to my heart ... love. Since all my novels are first and foremost love stories, I guess it should come as no surprise that I love to write about love!

Valentine's Day Month Contest ...

Count how many times the word love appears in this newsletter, and email your secret tally to authorsyriejames@gmail.com. Ten respondents who answer correctly will win two signed bookplates and a set of Syrie James bookmarks, and one Grand Prize winner will receive all of the above plus an Advance Reader's Edition of my next novel!

I'm the RT Book Reviews' "Author Spotlight" ...

Please join me at RT Book Reviews where the spotlight is focused on my new novel Nocturne. You'll find an exclusive excerpt, a contest, book review, and author message.

It's all happening here!

Speaking of Love ...

In Nocturne, a woman is snowbound for days with a brilliant, reclusive, fascinating man—who happens to be a potentially deadly, centuries-old vampire. As these two wounded souls wait out the raging storm, they begin a wary, star-crossed journey from attraction to passion, and discover a once-in-a-lifetime love that changes them both forever. I enjoyed every minute I spent writing about Michael and Nicole. Many readers have compared the book to Beauty and the Beast, and have been clamoring for a sequel. I'm thrilled to share some of the wonderful reviews:

"Lyrical, lush, and intensely romantic, this infinitely touching, bittersweet story from James (Dracula, My Love) will weave its way into readers' hearts, with its complex characters and compelling emotions sure to linger long after the last page has been turned." —Library Journal

"5 out of 5 Stars. Near-death experiences, a charming and enigmatic stranger, concealed dark secrets, forbidden love—Syrie James' latest novel is an exquisite feast of passion, turmoil, adventure, and intrigue... one of her most emotionally intense novels yet." —Austenesque Reviews

What is True Love?

How do we know when we've found it? Is there a way to help us recognize the real thing—the kind of love that will last forever? After much musing, I decided to put together a list!

12 Ways To Know You've Found True Love

  1. You are each other's best, most trusted friend, as well as lovers.
  2. You are so comfortable and content together, you can be your truest self with each other.
  3. There's an underlying physical or chemical attraction between you that can't be denied.
  4. You know that you can count on each other to always be there in time of need.
  5. You love, admire, respect, and appreciate each other, and fully support each other's needs and dreams.
  6. You are both willing and happy to put the other's happiness and well being first.
  7. You balance and complete each other. You share similar outlooks and interests, yet at the same time have enough differences that you can learn something from and help each other.
  8. You understand and accept each other's flaws as well as your differences in beliefs and priorities, and find each other's quirks endearing.
  9. Together, you have created a safe and comfortable space where you can share your most personal thoughts, dreams, feelings, and fears without judgment.
  10. Your affection and passion for each other are so strong, you can't imagine spending the rest of your life without each other.
  11. There's no jealousy, insecurity, pressure, or testing of loyalties or feelings in your relationship; you are together by mutual desire, and it's easy.
  12. You are successful as individuals, but happier together than apart, and would rather spend time with each other than anyone else in the world.

I think if you can say yes to 11 out of 12 of the above statements, you've found true love!

Handsome Heroes ...

Do you recognize the four hunks above? They're the men I had in mind when I created the heroes in my novels: Mr. Frederick Ashford, Arthur Bell Nicholls, Dracula, and Michael Tyler. Wouldn't you just love to see these actors play the parts in the movie versions? (A woman can dream, can't she?)

Blogging About Love ...

In honor of Nocturne's release, I've been blogging about love at various sites all over the internet. Here are are few excerpts you might enjoy:

"Heroes: The Men I Love to Write About"
by Syrie James
"I'm here to talk about HEROES... the kind of men I find compelling and romantic, and why... All the heroes in my books share one common trait ..." (Read more)


"Why I Believe in Love at First Sight" by Syrie James
"Many of the most romantic and enduring relationships in my family history began as love at first sight. My parents' story is one of my favorites. When my mother, Joann (an independent soul) was 25, she took a trip by herself across the east coast. It was a brave and rather scandalous thing for a single woman to undertake at the time ..." (Read more)

Nocturne was Freshfiction.com's Fresh Pick of the Day on January 11, 2011!


"My Personal Story of Star-Crossed Love" by Syrie James
"I've had my own personal experience with forbidden love, a poignant memory that brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it. I met him at a party when I was in college. I was not quite 20 years old, and he was ..."

(Read more ... and comment on my blog for a chance to win an ARE of my next book!)


What The Critics Are Saying About Nocturne ...

It was exciting to find Nocturne on the New Fiction shelf this week at Barnes & Noble. Here are a few more recent reviews:

"I was captivated by the end of the first chapter and couldn't put it down... If you read any book for Valentine's Day, read 'Nocturne' by Syrie James."
Miss Remmer's Review

"Brilliant, couldn't put it down... A gorgeous read for the festive season, a true romance with a delicious bittersweet ending that brought tears to my eyes."
Book Chick City

"Ms. James has once again offered a haunting, romantic tale that will leave readers wishing that HER characters were the ones on the big screen... If you've never read a Syrie James novel you're missing out. Whether you begin with her odes to Austen, Bronte, Dracula, or Nicole and Michael-–you will most assuredly read every word she's written and become a true fan for all time."Feathered Quill Book Reviews

"Tauntingly compelling, the ending left me spent ... The haunting Nocturne is the perfect escape book for romance readers with some pretty steamy love scenes sure to warm you to your toes these cold, winter months."  Austenprose

"What could be more romantic than getting snowbound with a dark and mysterious stranger? Nocturne is the kind of book that makes you want to turn off the phone and the television so you can do nothing but read."Barnes & Noble Heart to Heart Romance Blog

"There is an initial Beauty and the Beast vibe that worked beautifully in NOCTURNE... It is the perfect novel to read on a cold winter night, curled up in front of a roaring fire and let this impossible romance sink into your soul. Just beautiful."All Things Urban Fantasy

"The snowbound Nicole and Michael have so much chemistry that everything they do, from discussing literature to carving wooden music boxes, becomes foreplay ... You won't need a snowstorm to keep you glued to your chair, racing through this fantastic novel!"RT Book Reviews

You can read more reviews of Nocturne here.

Read an EXCERPT from Nocturne here.


"My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose"

Nocturne is full of music, and the classic "My Love is Like A Red, Red Rose" by Robert Burns is the book's theme song. Now, every time I hear it, it brings tears to my eyes. For a lovely audio and visual rendition of the song on YouTube, please click here or on the rose to the left.


Upcoming Events ...


Calling all Jane Austen fans!

Please join me and authors Karen Joy Fowler (The Jane Austen Book Club), Laurie Viera Rigler (Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict), and Diana Birchall (Mrs. Darcy's Dilemma) for AUSTENALIA, an exciting panel discussion about All Things Jane!

A book signing will follow, along with light refreshments and a display of rare Austen books.

Tuesday February 15, 2011, 4:00 PM
Chapman University
Henley Reading Room of the Leatherby Libraries
One University Drive, Orange, CA 92866
Hosted by Dr. Lynda Hall
FREE - open to the public - No tickets necessary
For more information click here, or call 714-628-7355

 

I'll be signing books at the RT Booklovers Convention Book Fair on April 9 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. I'm also doing a Readers/Author Speed Meeting on April 10 and may serve on a panel. The convention (April 6-10) offers over 125 informative workshops for readers, authors, and booksellers, as well as free books and giveaways, and plenty of partying after dark. I hope to see you there! For more information and to learn how to register, click here.

Other News ...

I'm excited to announce that my novel Dracula, My Love  is currently available at Target stores!

It's quite an honor, since the book dept at Target is rather small. Just to note, all four of my books are available at Target online (in addition to Amazon and all the usual places.)

 

I was delighted to meet author Deborah Harkness at her book launch at USC on Feb. 8. What a lovely, brilliant, charming, and gracious woman. We feel like we were separated at birth—we're both UCD alumni and L.A. authors who write romantic, history-infused fiction that features vampires.

I'm throughly enjoying Deborah's bestselling novel, A Discovery of Witches, about a modern-day witch, a vampire, and a hexed manuscript that brings them together. It's a wonderful mix of fantasy, mystery, science, romance, and imagination ... simply fantastic!

 

Last month, my husband and I saw 36 terrific films in 11 days at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. The highlight was seeing Colin Firth, an intelligent, charming, articulate man, who is (if possible) even more gorgeous in person! I was thrilled when he answered my questions at the Q&A, and shared an anecdote about the filming of the elevator scene in THE KING'S SPEECH. (It was a very, very small elevator, and it had to fit not only Colin and Helena Bonham Carter but also the camerman and a very large, heavy camera...)



As a lifelong Charlotte Brontë fan, I just had to mention the new JANE EYRE movie due out March 11 from Focus Films. Watch the trailer here. There've been many wonderful past adaptations, most of them for television. I'm hoping if enough people see and love this film, it will help pave the way for my novel The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë (Charlotte's real-life romance, optioned by Cool Hand Entertainment) to get the financing it needs to become a movie as well!



What's Next ...

 

I'm pleased to be a contributing author to a new Jane Austen Short Story Anthology entitled Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature's Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart. The collection, which will include approximately twenty stories inspired by Jane Austen, her novels, and her philosophies of life and love, will be published by Ballantine Books on October 11, 2011. It can be pre-ordered here.


My son Ryan and I joined forces to co-write my next novel, Forbidden, a YA paranormal romance. It's been a wonderful experience! The book is about a 16-year-old girl whose life begins to implode when she comes into unusual powers, only to discover she's half-angel ... and her very existence is prohibited. But these aren't your typical do-gooder angels—they don't even need wings—and the attractive, mysterious new guy at school with whom she seems to have a strong connection may be her only true ally in a confusing and increasingly dangerous world. Forbidden is due out from HarperTeen in early 2012.

Buy The Book Links ...

 

Nocturne - Amazon

Nocturne - Kindle

Dracula, My Love - Amazon

Dracula, My Love - Kindle

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë - Amazon

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë - Kindle

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen - Amazon

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen - Kindle

 

In Closing ...

Readers, I dedicated Nocturne to you. I couldn't do this without you! Thank you so much for your support. If you like my books, please blog, Facebook, and Tweet about them, consider posting reviews, and tell your friends and loved ones. We authors need all the help we can get to spread the word!

I'd love to hear from you, so please feel free to email me at authorsyriejames@gmail.com, or leave a message in my guest book at syriejames.com. You can also contact me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. And don't forget the Valentine's Day Month Contest at the top of this newsletter!

All best wishes for a wonderful Valentine's Day with the ones you love... and Happy Reading!