Sunday, February 26, 2012

Call Story plus Giveaway: Robin Perini

The Pink Heart Society is very pleased to welcome debut Harlequin Intrigue Author Robin Perini with her very special Call Story and Giveaway

Have you ever had a day when your life just changed—but you didn't realize how much until later?

It was January, and I was tired. I'd been really hopeful that my story, In Her Sights, would be my first sale. But it had been in a publisher's hands for almost six months. It felt too long (not that I haven't gotten a rejection after 18 months, but you know when you get that 'feeling'). Besides, my heroine was a sniper. Not typical. A risky, strong, powerful heroine. I'd even rewritten the book to strengthen the hero so he would be a match for my heroine. I loved the book. I had a bad feeling.

Flash back to November 2010. I had only waited four months at the time. But, I decided to go ahead and enter the Romance Writers of America®'s Golden Heart® contest. (Okay,…actually, I hadn't planned on entering. I mean, isn't five Golden Hearts enough for anyone? My best friend, fellow writer and Golden Heart Finalist, Claire Cavanaugh, cajoled me into sending them off.) I entered In Her Sights AND my latest completed manuscript, Stolen Lullaby. Both risky books. What was I thinking? Except, I really loved the stories. Danger, intensity and a poignant family drama. Heart-pounding suspense and heart-wrenching family drama. That's what I love to write. It's what I hope I deliver.


I wasn't holding my breath even though I had five Golden Heart finals under my belt. And I had already started a new book called Unwilling Witness.

Now, back to January. First came the toughest day I'd had in a long time. I received a rejection letter on In Her Sights. I was devastated. I cried. I railed. I ate chocolate. That being said—my upset lasted all of a day. Truly, rejection wasn't an uncommon occurrence. Over the years I've received more than I can count…but this was…I had really hoped… Let's just say it was a real bummer! I had a hard time falling asleep that night, but the next morning I got up at 5:15 am and kept on writing. I had a new book to finish.

Still, in my heart, I loved my heroine, Jazz, A SWAT Team Sniper. Weeks went by. I kept writing. My literary agent, Jill Marsal from Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, asked me if I would be interested in submitting In Her Sights to Amazon for a new romance line they were starting. I said 'yes'. I wanted my sniper heroine, Jazz, to have a home. She deserved her story.

Then, in late February, 2011 (almost exactly one year ago) I was at work in my office. Jill called me and asked me if I was sitting down. Amazon's Montlake Romance wanted In Her Sights. Luckily, I WAS sitting down because my knees shook, my breath caught and I screeched. Several people ran down the hall to my office, hoping nothing was wrong. Montlake hadn't been announced yet, though. I couldn't TELL anyone!

Still, I didn't stop smiling all day! And bit my tongue for several months. Until the end of May to be exact. So, what do you do when you've sold, but you haven't sold a book? You keep on writing.

Remember those Golden Heart® entries? Well, In March, 2011 I finalled with both In Her Sights and Stolen Lullaby. Now I had Seven Golden Heart finals. Was this amazing or embarrassing…or a little of both? I can't deny my excitement though. I knew my books were going to be judged by editors. Sometimes Golden Heart finalists receive requests for the completed manuscript from editors. That had never happened to me…but maybe this time.

And I kept writing on my new book, Unwilling Witness.

Toward the end of May, 2011 I received a phone call from my agent, once again asking me if I was sitting down? You guessed it. During the Golden Heart judging process, my manuscript, Stolen Lullaby, had garnered some attention. The editors were sending the proposal up the chain at Harlequin Intrigue. My heart stopped. I screeched. I screamed. My office mates came down to see if I was okay. I was more than okay. The very next day, Jill called with an offer on Stolen Lullaby. The following day, my amazing editor, Allison Lyons called me.

I never did learn who the Golden Heart finalist judge was, but I owe her a huge thanks. For believing in a risky book. And I owe so much to the amazing editors at Harlequin Intrigue for their faith and belief in me.

And remember that book I kept working on? Well, I sent in the proposal in June, 2011. And in August got a 2-book offer. Four books sold between February, 2011 and August 2011.

And it hasn't ended. In Her Sights came out in November, received a very nice Publisher's Weekly review as well as 4.5 stars from RT Book Reviews. Finding Her Son (aka Stolen Lullaby) comes out next month and received 4.5 stars from RT Book Reviews as well. "Perini keeps the tension taut, the romance irresistible and the mystery...deep." The next two books come out in July and October of this year. (Cowboy in the Crossfire, July 2012 and Christmas Conspiracy (October 2012).


And just this month (less than one year after that first call, I agreed to continue the story of the Montgomery brothers from In Her Sights as Montgomery Justice in a three-book deal with Montlake Romance.


Seven Golden Hearts. Seven Sales. One year. Yeah…it's been a dream come true. I know I keep repeating myself, but I can't help it. I'm giddy still.

I just have to say to everyone out there, keep growing and learning, dare to follow your dreams and be persistent and focused in your pursuit. You can grasp the rainbow, too.

Do you have an example of a way in which you persisted or do you know of someone who inspires you? I'd love to hear any stories. Comment and earn a chance to win an autographed copy of Finding Her So

I love to hear from readers. You can catch me, read excerpts, read reviews, sign up for my quarterly newsletter or mailing list, and even request trading cards or a Kindlegraph on my website at www.robinperini.com. I'm also on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

You can learn more about Robin and her books on www.robinperini.com. Finding Her Son is available wherever good books and ebooks are sold.

18 comments:

  1. Thanks for the invite, Michelle! I am so excited to be here! It's quite an honor!

    All my best,
    Robin

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    1. All I can say is "WOW!" What an AMAZING year you've had Robin. Go you. Caroline x

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    2. Thanks, Caroline. Sometimes it doesn't feel real. Then something amazing will happen. Yesterday I received my first fan letter in my Post Office box. With stamps and everything. It was the most heartfelt and wonderful letter about Finding Her Son. I'm so blessed!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Robin

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  2. What a great call story! I've been waiting since 2004 (when we were both GH finalists) to see you sell, and it was so exciting to hear you had. And I love that you sold to Intrigue! It's a great line to write for.

    The story I always tell writers who are discouraged and thinking about giving up was my own call story. On August 2, 2005, I received a devastating rejection on a revise & resubmit. I was heartbroken and wondering if I was just beating my head against an unbreakable wall.

    On August 3, 2005, I got The Call. On the book of my heart. So you can't let one rejection get you down, because good news might literally be just around the corner.

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    1. Oh, Paula. I can just feel the agony of August 2 and the joy of August 3! That's a great story!

      Had to laugh about 2004! Yep...I remember us being GH finalists together. What a year! And you're right! You never know what will happen and when. I love the definition of luck...when preparedness meets opportunity. Looking back, if I had gotten that call in 2004, I would never have been able to take advantage of it. Sometimes things don't happen in our time. I think for me, they happened in the right time, though!

      BTW, I checked out your workspace blog yesterday here...great advice! (everyone, you should check it out! Great blog post. Just go below and hit 'older post'.

      Thanks for stopping by. Means the world!

      Hugs,
      Robin

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  3. Awesome story. I was even a part of it and it still made me tear up! What an encouraging way to start the waiting process again!!

    Thanks for sharing, Robin!
    ~Angi

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    1. Yep...you were right there with me. Through the agony and the ecstasy. It's been a wild ride, and not always easy, but I'm thrilled to have an amazing new kind of challenge! Thanks SO much for stopping by!

      Hugs,
      Robin

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  4. Hi Robin! Congratulations! What an amazing story!

    Kathy

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    1. Thanks, Kathy! As you know better than most it's a long time coming and a dream come true for me.

      Hugs!

      Robin

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  5. Great call story, I will look forward to reading your books. I read all the Harlequin lines but I really enjoy the Intrigue line.

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    1. Hi Linda--

      So great to see you here. I've read most all of the Harlequin lines as well, but Intrigues were always one of my fave lines because of the Romantic Suspense! As a reader, it's a thrill for me to write what I still read! Such a honor!

      I hope you enjoy the stories!

      Happy reading,
      Robin

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  6. Great call story!
    I'm looking forward to reading your books!

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    1. Thanks, Chey! So glad to see you here! Hope you enjoy the books!

      Happy reading,
      Robin

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  7. What a story! You are definitely a poster child for persistence. :-) And Robin, I'm so happy to hear that you've contracted more Montgomery brothers books with Montlake! Yay, you!!

    -Kathy :-)

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  8. Thanks, Kathy! It was definitely a long road, but SO worth it now. A whole set of new challenges, but I feel like, having gone through what I did to get to the place, that I'm ready to meet them head on!

    I'm excited about the Montgomery brothers' stories, too. It should be so much fun!

    Thanks for stopping by, Kathy! Great to see you here!

    All my best,
    Robin

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  9. Wow - what a wonderful call story! Thanks for sharing :)

    Congrats and all the best with your releases!

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    1. Thanks, Joanne. It's been a super exciting year! I'm so glad you stopped by.

      Happy reading,
      Robin

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  10. AND THE WINNER of the GIVEAWAY IS...

    Kathy Altman!

    Congratulations, Kathy! Please send your address to me at robin (at) robinperini (dot) com, and I'll send you an autographed copy of Finding Her Son!

    Thanks everyone for joining me here! It was a blast!

    All my best and happy reading,
    Robin

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