Monday, November 16, 2009

Guest Author - Lori Brighton

Debut author Lori Brighton is starting our week long Housewarming Party off with a BANG! Lori has a degree in anthropology and has worked in a museum, but she decided that the people in her imagination were more exciting than the dead things in a museum basement. Today she is sharing with us the moment when she received "the call" and a little bit about her debut release, WILD HEART. Please help me welcome Lori to The Romance Dish!

Recently I was talking to a neighbor’s father. “I’ve heard it takes a long time to get published,” he said.

I was surprised and delighted at his comment. Finally, I’d found someone enlightened, someone who understood the publishing world as it really was.

“Yes,” I admitted. “It took me about six years.”

The man gasped. Actually gasped in horror or shock, I’m not sure which. So much for being enlightened. For a moment I felt almost embarrassed; until I realized I should be proud of myself for sticking it out that long and not giving up.

So there it is; the truth: over six years and probably close to 100 rejections. And I’m not going to lie, each rejection hurt. Like a knife through the heart. And after each rejection I thought about quitting. Fortunately, I didn’t.

When I wrote my debut book Wild Heart, I had this gut feeling that this would be the book that would be published. My heart full of hopeful promise, I sent queries out to agents. A few asked to see the first couple chapters. I sent them off knowing things were finally happening for me. Then the rejections started rolling in, one after the other. When I’d exhausted every agent I could, I entered Wild Heart in contests. The judges seemed to like my book and I ended up finaling in three contests. But it was the last contest I entered that would prove the most important.

I received an email a month or so after entering The Golden Acorn contest. The coordinator was letting me know that I’d finaled and Hilary Sares, formally of Kensington, wanted to see my full book. Shocked and thrilled, I quickly copied all 400 pages and mailed it out. Then waited…and waited…waited some more. After three months I figured Wild Heart was destined to be set aside. I accepted the fact that once again I was going to get a rejection and I started to think about what to write next. I’d moved on.

A few more weeks went by when one day my phone rang. The caller I.D. said New York, but as I knew no one there, I let the voice mail pick it up. A few moments later I checked my messages, it was Hilary and she wanted to talk to me about my book.

An editor wouldn’t call unless they were interested, right? That’s what I hoped! I could barely breathe and it took me about thirty minutes to return her call. That was the just the beginning. I ended up signing with Kensington for their debut program; two books. That first book, Wild Heart, was just released. The second book, a spinoff of the first, will be out next year.

It certainly wasn’t easy getting published, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Leo Roberts is next in line for an earldom and the power and fortune that come with it, but he is uncultured, unrefined—and completely untamed…until governess Ella Finch arrives upon the scene. Can so young and inexperienced a woman tutor him in the manners and mores of his class? Leo’s mysterious past has rendered him an outsider, too wild for polite society. But he finds her innocence most intriguing…

What manner of man he may be, Ella does not know. Yet he fascinates her and she must know more. Capturing Leo’s reckless heart is about to free her in ways she never dreamed of…and his sensual touch releases the deepest yearnings of her body and soul …

Interested in Wild Heart? Read the excerpt below!

“It’s lovely, the way the willow trees hang over the edge. Makes it quite…”

“Secluded? Romantic?” He was testing her, seeing how far he could push, and at the same time he found he liked to tease her.

She released a wry laugh. “Magical, I was going to say.”
It would be so much easier if she were the harlot pretending to be pure. As an innocent, he wasn’t sure how to deal with her. Yet, no innocent would have a necklace from India. It was too much the coincidence, wasn’t it? “As if fairies might be frolicking along the banks?”

She grinned. “Exactly.”

Leo stretched his legs out and leaned back on his hands, watching her. There was a shyness about her today that tempted him, and for a moment he forgot he was here to gather more information about her necklace.

“It’s rather warm.”

She picked a violet from the grass. “Hmm.”

“And you did promise to learn to swim.”

Her gaze jumped to his. “You’re teasing me.”

“Of course not. But, as I said, it is rather warm.”

“No, absolutely not, Leo. You may have bribed me into swimming once, but not again. Besides, you’re mad. We’d surely be spotted by someone.”

“Not where the rose bushes cover the windows, and that large yew tree would hide us from view.”

She shook her head. “No.”

“Suit yourself.” He stood and strolled down the bank, knowing she watched him and knowing, the way a man knows, that she was attracted to him. Damn, if that thought didn’t thrill him.

Without glancing back, he pulled off his shirt, letting the linen garment flutter to the ground with a swoosh. He heard her suck in a gasp and grinned. Lord, but he loved taunting her.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by! Leave a comment and three people will win a copy of Wild Heart!


  1. Hi Lori :)
    Thank you for the excellent post on getting "The Call". It reaffirmed my own determination. I also loved the excerpt. I posted about your post on my blog. Thank you for sharing.
    All the best,

  2. Wow, great excerpt and GPRGEOUS cover !!
    Can't wait to put my greedy hands on that one !
    Congratilations Lori *\o/*

  3. Hi Lori :)
    I almost forgot -


    I won your novel (signed)*YAY!* earlier.

    Love & Best Wishes to you & yours,

  4. I loved that blog I have you book on my TBR pile I had heard so much about your book Lori that I had to have it now all I need is more time to read. I ordered 9 books this month and I really want to read them all at once I really need to retire LOL.

    Congrats on the release I am so glad you never gave up after the rejections

    Have Fun

  5. Congratulations on your debut release! I'm looking forward to reading it. I'm inspired by your story. I can only imagine how hard the publishing industry is and so I applaud your fortitude and courage; sticking it out and doing what you believe even in the face of adversity does take great courage.

    I'm curious - why historicals? Is that your passion as a reader? Or as an author is that what intrigues you?

  6. Hi everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by.

    I'm not sure why I love historicals, I've done posts on that too. lol. I've always loved history, hence the anthro degree. A historical romance was the first romance I read, Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood. There's just something very romantic about the 1800s.

  7. Good morning, Lori! And congratulations of your debut release.

    Lori said: And after each rejection I thought about quitting. Fortunately, I didn’t.

    This is the perfect example of perseverence! I'm glad you didn't give up either because I'm really looking forward to reading WILD HEART.

    It was great meeting you at M&M. Will you be there next year?

  8. Good luck to you in your writing, RKCharron!! And congrats on winning a signed copy of Lori's book!

    Emmanuelle, I completely agree, that cover is gorgeous! I love purple. :)

  9. Hey there, Helen! You ordered 9 books this month? Good for you! I hope you enjoy them all!

    *waving to Marisa* Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Hi Lori! 6 years? WOW! I'm glad you didn't quit too.
    Although I haven't read your book yet, I've heard so many good things about it and I have it on my wish list, and I can't wait to get my hands on it.
    I loved the little excerpt you gave us. :-)
    Does you degree in Anthropology help you at all in writing your books?

    Oh, and thanks for starting the Housewarming Party off with a BANG! :-)

  11. Every time i hear about your book Lori it sounds better and better. ^^

    I'm curious as to what inspired you to write the story? Also when did you know you wanted to write romance stories?

  12. Hi, Lori! I love call stories--thanks for sharing yours. And thank you for not giving up on your dream. :)

    I'm really looking forward to reading WILD HEART.

  13. Hey Lori!! Welcome to The Romance Dish!! I love, love, love debut authors. Their energy and excitement seems to spill over into their books. I'm really looking forward to reading WILD AT HEART. So glad you didn't give up on your dream.

  14. Hi Lori! Welcome to The Romance Dish. We're thrilled to have you here to kick off our Housewarming Week.

    "Wild Heart" sounds like a terrific story. Love the excerpt! It's on my order list and I'm looking forward to reading it. :)

    Do you know when the next book will be published? Can you tell us anything about it?

  15. Sounds like a great read! I love a hero that is rough around the edges. *sigh*

  16. Hi Lori! Congratulations on your new release - I know it's going to be a winner. It certainly has been getting great advance buzz.

    Your story is a good reminder that if we love what we're doing, it's important to stick with it.

  17. It was wonderful meeting the Romance Dish ladies! I def. want to attend the next conference in GA. I'm hoping to go to nationals this year too, but we'll see.

    I've always loved to study cultures, travel and history, which is sort of what anthropology is. When you're writing historicals, that's basically what you're doing; studying another time, another culture and usually another country. So yes, it has influenced my writing.

    My second book takes place in India and the hero is a minor character in Wild Heart. The second book won't be out for at least a year. I still haven't gotten a date, but as soon as I do I'll post it on my site.

    As for how Wild Heart came about, my son had been watching the Disney cartoon Tarzan at the time which prompted me to think about a hero getting lost in the jungles.

  18. Lori, I'm glad you stuck it out. Thank God for Hilary!

    No need to enter me in the contest. I've already won a book. :)

  19. Congrats Lori! I'm so thrilled for you. I've watched and been inspired by your dedication and talent for a while now, and I cannot wait to hold your beautiful book in my hands! And read it, of course! Well done!

  20. Hi Lori,
    Stopping by today to say hello :)
    Nice excerpt, I should read it again

  21. Great tantalizing tease with the exercpt! I've added, yet another, book (and author) to my wish list! Good luck with the debut!

  22. Great tantalizing tease with the exercpt! I've added, yet another, book (and author) to my wish list! Good luck with the debut!

  23. Lori, I'm sitting here laughing at myself and my mistake. So sorry for getting your book title wrong in my previous post. I put WILD AT HEART and it is just WILD HEART. Sorry! Crazy morning here with a sick child, and the hubby always says I'm wild at heart so I guess I just went for that.

    It seems like Kensington has a wonderful debut program. Do you find yourself in budding friendships with other debut authors?

  24. Hi Lori...congrats on the debut!
    Great excerpt. Leo sounds like my kind of hero.

  25. Hi Lori! I can't wait to get to read more of your book. You are an excellent author. I am a thankful reader!

  26. Buffie~
    I hope your son gets to feeling better soon.

  27. Hi Lori!
    I love authors' publishing stories and think it's great that you stuck it out for so long. Your perseverance truly paid off!

    The excerpt to Wild Heart is wonderful and I'm really looking forward to reading it. I also see in one of your comments that your next book takes place in India. I can hardly wait. I love historical romances that take places in more exotic countries. I wish you the best of success with your debut novel!

    Also, best wishes to the authors of The Romance Dish blog. I've added it to my feeds! :)

  28. Congratulations on your new book and I think it's great that you never gave up.

  29. Congrats on your debut release, Lori. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

  30. Oh, I hope you come to Nationals, Lori. We'd love to see you again!

    Sorry I've been MIA today. I have a sinus infection that's kicking my booty. :(

    Lori, thanks so much for being here today and thanks to everyone for stopping by! Romance authors and readers are the best!!

  31. Yes! The Kensington authors are pretty close, especially the debut. We've all struggled, we're all in the same boat. I first met Kim Killion when she'd just sold to Kensington. A year later, I sold. She's become one of my dearest friends. Beverley Kendall too, who has a book coming out in Jan, has become a great friend. And of course Vanessa Kelly! She's cheered me up many a times and offered great advice.

    I just wanted to thank everyone for stopping by! I so appreciate you taking the time to visit! And thanks to the Romance Dish ladies for this opportunity!

  32. Congrats on the new book with a gorgeous cover may I add :) please enter me in the contest! :D

  33. Congratulations on your debut novel and love the beautiful cover. Loved the excerpt and can't wait to read your book.

  34. Lori, I'm so proud of you for not giving up on your dream!