The Sexorcist & Books of the Heart

When I was in college, I became involved in a student philanthropy called Dance Marathon.  Two hundred couples, thirty straight hours of dancing, a casino, celebrity alumni donations – the whole nine yards.  All for one great cause.  Through Dance Marathon, hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised for wonderful charities every year.  To this day, DM remains one of the most exhausting, thrilling, amazing experiences of my life.

Each year the DM chairs select a new worthy charity to be the primary beneficiary of that year’s marathon.  The student participants not only raise money for those charities, but often become involved on a much more personal level.  It was through DM ’99 that I first became aware of an organization called the Children’s Heart Foundation.  This Chicago-based charity funds research for congenital heart defect treatments and provides information for families with children struggling with serious heart conditions.  It amazed me how many of those families maintained a stalwart optimism in the face of such terrifying odds.  Odds they were determined to change with new medical research.

The memory of that hope, determination, and optimism has stuck with me for over a decade.

Last year, when I sat down to write The Sexorcist, as I was trying to get a handle on my heroine, I remembered the Children’s Heart Foundation.  What kind of woman would a girl who survived a serious congenital heart condition grow into?  How would that determined hope translate into her adult life?  Would the shadow of her former health issues continue to affect her even years after surgery had changed her life?  Or would she live life to the fullest, reveling in each new experience?

I had some insight into the possible answers to these questions through one of my dad’s sisters.  My aunt was born with a heart condition that prevented her from being able to perform many physical activities.  After her heart surgery, she became a runner, thriving on her new athleticism.  A new possibility had opened up to her and she made the most of it.

And that is exactly who my heroine became – the woman who savored every new opportunity because she knew better than most how valuable each second is.

When I hear authors talking about the books of their hearts, I know they mean the books they wrote simply for the love of them, sometimes in spite of their questionable market appeal.  They are the books you have to write, even if it will be a battle to get them into print.  The ones that really sing to you.

I’ve never really thought of myself as having a book of my heart.  There are too many book ideas whirling through my head for any one of them to get a complete lock on my heart.  No one idea ever seemed more brilliant or special to me than any other.  I figured I was too cynical to have a book of my heart, but maybe I was just looking at it the wrong way.  Perhaps The Sexorcist, this book with so much heart, is the book of mine.  I didn’t feel compelled to write The Sexorcist (by anything other than a deadline), but it does feel special to me.  And I hope readers feel the same way.

And so, in keeping with the heart-felt theme, to promote the release of The Sexorcist, I’m doing something a little different.  From now until July 31st, 2010, readers can help me support children’s heart health just by buying The Sexorcist.  Email me a copy of your receipt at, showing you purchased The Sexorcist and I’ll donate 10% of my royalties from that sale to the Children’s Heart Foundation.  If you’d like to learn more about the charity or donate directly, you can visit their website at:

Also, if you love good books and good causes, don’t miss the Brenda Novak Auction all through the month of May.  You can bid on fabulous prizes to benefit Diabetes Research – including a Ruby Slippered-Sisterhood basket & my own Alaskan Experience Goodie Bag.

Do you have a book of your heart?  Have you ever found inspiration from a real life struggle or success story?  Do you have a favorite charity that tugs at your heart-strings?

Just a reminder:  Five more days to enter my ereader contest to win a shiny new Sony Pocket ereader of your very own!  Details at  Good luck!

35 responses to “The Sexorcist & Books of the Heart”

  1. Elisa Beatty says:

    This is so fabulous, Vivi!!!! Sounds like a fabulous foundation, and what a wonderful inspiration for your heroine! Okay, off to look for The Sexorcist!

  2. Elisa Beatty says:

    This is so fabulous, Vivi!!!! Sounds like a fabulous foundation, and what a wonderful inspiration for your heroine! Okay, off to look for The Sexorcist!

  3. Gwynlyn MacKenzie says:

    Speaking of hearts, it looks like yours is in the right place. I’ll be getting my own copy of the Sexorcist ASAP. Best of luck with the new release, doll. May your kindness return to you a hundredfold.

    • Vivi Andrews says:

      Thank you, Gwynlyn. There are a lot of philanthropy efforts in the romance writing community (like the literacy signing every year, among others). Isn’t it nice to see? Gotta love the book promo that gives warm fuzzies at the same time. 🙂

  4. Hi, Vivi! What a lovely gesture! I have just bought my copy of The Sexorcist.

    Like you, I’m not sure have one book of my heart. I hold all my books dear, simply because it’s a miracle they even get written. 🙂

    • Vivi Andrews says:

      Thank you, Vanessa! I think of picking just one “book of the heart” like picking a favorite child – not gonna happen. My heart’s just gonna have to get bigger to make more room for the next one I’m writing.

  5. I love a worthy charity. The charity I’m involved in is Quilts From the Heart. We make quilts for organizations like Habitat for Humanity, local shelters, the cancer ward at the hospital etc…Our chapter makes between 200-300 quilts a year. And we have fun doing it.

  6. Elise Hayes says:

    What a wonderful idea to donate part of your royalties to the children’s heart foundation, Vivi!

    Now tell us more about your book. What do “karmic consultants” do?

    And, yes, I have a couple of characters who have stolen my heart, neither of whose books I’ve written yet. Can’t wait to get to them!

    • Vivi Andrews says:

      The Karmic Consultants help people out with paranormal disasters – an infestation of prankster ghosts haunting your Victorian inn? We’ve got a ghost exterminator for you. A demon possessing your teenager? An exorcist is on call 24/7.

      The books are definitely on the lighter side of the para-rom spectrum – hopefully more inclined to give giggles than shivers. I just love writing them. 🙂

  7. Liz Talley says:

    You are just fabulous. I will get my copy of The Sexorcist. You are an amazing author, and here’s what I love the most. Your titles sound so super sexy, but your characters and writing is so warm. Your generous spirit just shines through in your writing. Can you tell I’m a fan?

    Good for you for wanting to help others. No better feeling in life.

  8. Addison Fox says:

    Vivi – what a wonderful post!!!

    I can’t wait to read the Sexorcist! 🙂


  9. Laurie Kellogg says:

    Both of my Golden Heart winners were books of my heart. My other GH finalists not as much so.

    • Vivi Andrews says:

      I’m curious, Laurie, did the others feel more like work? Or were you writing something you weren’t as passionate about because it suited the market? Or did they just not engage your emotions as much?

  10. What a fabulous post, Vivi! And I love the fact that your books are humorous paranormals in a genre that seems to be getting increasingly darker.

    If I have any books of my heart, I think it would be the one I’m revising right now. It’s an idea I couldn’t let go even though I knew how challenging it would be to write. It’s dark and grim, but there’s a beauty (at least I hope that’s coming through!) to it that has really grabbed me. It may never end up finding a home, but I feel richer for writing it.

  11. Eden Glenn says:

    Beautiful thing Viv!

  12. Tina Joyce says:

    What a wonderful thing to do, Vivi! Romance authors are amazingly generous people. I’m looking forward to reading the Sexoricist!

  13. Hope Ramsay says:

    Great charity, Viv. My mother lost three of her siblings to congenital heart defects. This was a long time ago, before there were any kind of surgeries to help children that used to be called Blue Babies. I would have bought the Sexorcist in any case, but now I have another great reason.

    All of my Last Chance books are books of the heart. They were the project I just couldn’t give up no matter how many times they were rejected. And every time I visit Last Chance, I get this feeling that I was meant to write these books.

  14. Jeannie Lin says:

    Congrats on the release of the Sexorcist. What a generous, thoughtful thing to do!

    I suppose the charity I’m dedicated to isn’t a charity as much as a school. It’s a Green Dot charter school that I taught at and the Green Dot schools in general. I believe they’re out there tackling the hard issues in urban education.

    As to books of the heart, I’d have to say my first three manuscripts are those books. Butterfly Swords and the prequel and sequel are a blend of all my childhood fantasies.

  15. What a great idea. I’ll be finding a copy as soon as I get some extra cash. (It’s been hard to come by lately!) I need to sell a novel, doggone it!

  16. rita says:

    Great post! Fantastic cover art -heavy sigh.
    Lovely and thoughtful thing for you to give to the Children’s Heart Foundation.

  17. Congratulations on the release of The Sexorist, Vivi. What a generous way to donate and thanks for making me aware of this charity. (Great cover!)


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