Posts tagged with: Ruby Slippered Sisterhood




The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood was born in 2009 when we were all nominated for the Romance Writers’ of America’s Golden Heart Award.

That crazy, giddy, exhilarating (and often confusing and scary) experience forged a powerful friendship which has seen us through ten years of creative work, as we’ve brought hundreds of books into the world, and experienced some wild publishing (and personal) ups and downs. We’ve cheered each other on, given each other wise advice, and sometimes picked each other up when we’ve stumbled on our yellow brick roads. 

During our very first summer as finalists, we recognized the power of that sisterhood, and decided we wanted to share it outwards–in the form of the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Blog, which debuted in September 2009. Many other blogs have come and gone since then, but we’ve kept going, with 2,829 posts to date,  93,491 reader comments, a decade’s-worth of raucous Cyber Parties on RITA / Golden Heart announcement day, and lots of regular special events, including our interview series with each new class of Golden Heart Finalists, our annual MAKE IT GOLDEN CONTEST (which opens on Thursday for the 2019 event!), Ruby Blog Hops, and of course our turbo-charged Ruby Winter Writing Festival (which starts again January 10, 2020!).    

We’re so grateful for everyone who’s come on this journey with us, and for the new folks who find us week after week! We’ve just begun an exciting new format, with a more interactive approach, and we’re looking forward to getting creative with you all!

As always, we’re going to celebrate our birthday by giving away presents to our readers!!

Leave a birthday greeting in the comments today, and we’ll enter you in random drawings for the following prizes. (Physical prizes are U.S. only.):

Lara Archer:  to two winners: a print copy of THE DEVIL MAY CARE (US only), plus $15 Amazon gift card

Katie Graykowski: a $25 gift card to each of two winners, to each winner’s choice of online store!

Elizabeth Essex: a book bundle of the HIGHLAND BRIDES books!

Darynda Jones: $10 Amazon gift cards to five different winners!

Bev Pettersen: a $10 Amazon gift card

Heather McCollum: two prizes for two different winners: 1) a Ruby slipper journal and a red sparkly ruby slipper key chain, and 2) a Prize Bundle of a $10 gift card and the first two books in her HIGHLAND ISLES series – The Beast of Aros Castle and The Rogue of Islay Isle. Signed print version for US winner or digital for International winner.


Autumn Jordon: Three gift packages to three different winners, each with an autographed book and SURPRISES!! (USA only)

Thanks so much, everybody, for helping us make this blog a fruitful place for writers for TEN WHOLE YEARS!!! We hope to see here LOTS MORE for fun, inspiration, and celebration all year long!

Happy Sixth Birthday to the Ruby Blog!!

b day cakesIt’s Our Birthday!!! Believe it or not, the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Blog has been around for SIX WONDERFUL YEARS!!

We’ve been here with daily posts (1,989 so far!!), the Winter Writing Festival, the Make It Golden Contest, our annual Rita / Golden Heart Announcement Day Party, the September Hour-a-Day Challenge, interviews with each new class of Golden Heart Finalists, and much, much more.

We’re thrilled to have created an online community for writers and readers–with nearly 77,000 comments, and more than a MILLION reads from visitors we love!!

(And don’t forget the hundreds of Ruby books that have come out since we started in 2009!)

Thanks to you, Loyal Readers,

we’re in the mood to CELEBRATE!!!

In typical Ruby style, we’re going to enjoy our party by GIVING AWAY PRESENTS!!

Even if you normally check the blog without commenting, we’d really love to hear from you today! As we continue to grow and evolve, we’d love to hear from ALL our visitors about what brought you to the Ruby blog, what you enjoy seeing here, and what you’d like to see from us in the future.

Just leave a comment below, and you’ll be in the running to win in random drawings that we’ll hold throughout the day.

We Wish You….

It’s the festive time of year and the world, preparing for a celebration, is in a spin.

The Rubies thoughts are turning to the priorities of our hearts.

Letting the holiday come and go without telling our readers Happy Holidays would be a sin.

We cherish your support and wish you the merriest of days while we’re apart.

Delight in the hugs received, relish the food and drinks of the season– even if it’s Uncle Joe’s bathtub gin.

Most of all, be safe, and please pray for those who carry worry and sorrow upon the hearts.

Happy Holidays! We’ll be back on the 26th.

The Rubies

Ruby Release – The Siren’s Song by Jennifer Bray-Weber

Pirates are a despicable lot known for pillaging and plundering, causing fear with their approach and leaving destruction in their wake. Theirs was a life of taking and giving nothing in return. Not to mention the drinking, wenching, and gluttony galore.

Some might find it difficult to carve a hero out of someone so wretched. Oh, but I have fun with the challenge. I adore the pirates starring in my Romancing the Pirate series. Each and every one of them, their quirks, their motivations, I even find the pirate villains a bit fascinating. But my heart lies with the captains. I make no excuses for my pirates’ behaviors and neither do they.

In The Siren’s Song, released May 16th through Carina Press, Captain Thayer Drake is no different. In fact, he’s downright reprehensible. He lures ships with false lights to the reefs off the Florida coast. In exchange for help—and their lives—he takes what he wants from the hapless ships and sells the ‘salvage’ at auction.

Now any pirate worth his salt has to be just as assertive and possessive with the ladies as he is with his quarry. (giggle, giggle, snort) It takes a courageous, strong woman to tame a rogue. And Gilly McCoy has her work cut out for her with Captain Drake.


The sun now blazed from its zenith in the sky. Only slivers of shade from the canvas sails overhead could be found hugging to the crevices and corners of the ship. Heat rose from the baking deck, and without the constant breezes, she would suffocate from the hot air.

The ship’s bell struck and Gilly counted the rings. It was time to pay her debt to the captain. She’d been tallying the bells as they struck every half hour all throughout the watch. Two bells. Her chest tightened. Mixed emotions churned in her stomach. Four bells. She wanted to kiss him, didn’t she? Of course she did. Six bells. Was she supposed to go to him? Where would he be waiting? In his cabin? She glanced at Willie and Henri. They didn’t seem to know of her quandary. She couldn’t ask them for an opinion. How mortifying to think of it. Seven bells. Would she be good at it, good enough for him? How would she compare to others he had kissed? Eight bells. Lord help her, she surely was going to faint.

Before the final peal of the bell faded into the winds, Captain Drake appeared at the top of the ladder. Time slowed as he glided toward her. She slid off her perch and met him halfway.

“Eight bells, milady.”

“I’m ready,” she said. Closing her eyes, she puckered, waiting for his lips to descend upon her. Waiting to inhale his delicious musk. Waiting for his hands to roam across her back and his fingers to thread through her hair. Waiting. Why hadn’t he kissed her yet?

“What’s the lass doin’?” Henri asked. “Is she alright?”

“Maybe the heat’s done gotten to her,” Willie answered.

She popped open one eye. Gone was the captain’s mask of steely austerity. His amusement beamed brighter than the unforgiving sun. The heat couldn’t compare to her swill of embarrassment. Sweat beaded on her brow and she wished with all her heart she could disappear. Why didn’t he kiss her? How idiotic she must look. She huffed, angry now. Mustering up a scrap of dignity, she confronted the cur.

“What’s wrong? Why won’t you kiss me?” She propped her hands on her hips. “Have you gone back on our accord?”

His smug laugh indicated he had not. “I never renege on a deal, Miss McCoy.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You have misinterpreted the terms. Our agreement stated that you kiss me. Not the other way around.”

“Oh.” Won’t death spare me this humiliation?

She was helpless. She had never kissed a man, only been kissed. This changed everything. It simply was not proper. Come now, Gilly. You haven’t been proper since the day Hyde laid eyes upon you. And besides, you want to kiss him.

“All right, Captain Drake. I shall play by your rules.”

She rose to her tiptoes and, quick as a rabbit dashing into a briar patch, she pecked him on his mouth.

“There,” she said. “It’s done. I kissed you.” She grinned a self-satisfied smile. “Come back at the next eight bells. I shall be ready.”

“Uh-uh. Not quite, lass. That’s not at all how I want you to kiss me.”

“A kiss is a kiss.”

“Nay, lass. That is how you kiss a codfish.”

She gasped and her hand flew to her bosom at the insult. “And just how am I supposed to kiss you, Captain? There were no stipulations on the manner of kiss.”

“Kiss me as you did last night.”

She poked him in his chest. “You kissed me.”

“At first, yes. But then you lost your chaste modesty and your voracious appetite took over.”

If she could get her hands on his cutlass, she would end her suffering. Gilly glanced over her shoulder. Both Henri and Willie quickly, but not quickly enough, became occupied, pretending miserably not to have been listening in on their exchange. Henri fiddled with his vest pocket and Willie tapped at the compass he kept fixed to his wheel.

“You need not let shamefulness get the better of you, Miss McCoy. You’ve nothing to be embarrassed about,” Captain Drake said.

She frowned. He did not make things any easier by calling her on her discomfiture.

“Well? I’m waiting.”

What a wicked, wicked man. The only way to wipe that smirk from his face was to give him the best kiss he ever had in his wretched life.

Gilly grabbed the back of his neck with both hands and smothered his lips. Long and hard, she pressed against him. He tensed under her grip. His arms reached out, as if to hold her. But he didn’t. Nevertheless, she felt his smile. And that pleased her.

She broke free of him. Excitement coursed through her veins. Liberation was hers. She could do that again. Eight more times, in fact.


I’ve had pirates with suicidal tendencies, anger issues, libidinous overindulgent, extreme recklessness, and an alcoholic marauder. But they all have had redeeming traits. I promise. I delight in the journey of the spirited heroines who undertake to tame them.

For another excerpt The Siren’s Song, click here.

Want to HEAR an excerpt. Click here for an audio snippet.

Did I convince you that pirates can have a heart as gold as a Spanish doubloon? Click here to take a chance with your own copy. The Siren’s Song is available at Carina Press, Amazon, B&N, Audible, and All Romance.Don’t forget, you can catch up with me at

Tell me. What do you think of heroes in desperate need of atonement? Thumbs up or thumbs down?

Leave a comment and you could win a copy of THE SIREN’S SONG!


Where Are They Now? The Rubies Three Years Since the Call

Welcome to “Where Are They Now” 2012 edition or as I fondly call it “The State of the Ruby Union.” Feel free during this absolute brag fest to stand and applaud the accomplishments of our Golden Heart class…think of it as exercise for your quads,  like at the real State of the Union address last month. Don’t you know all those Democrats had some serious thigh-burn? I kept picturing them the next morning trying to get out of bed after all that up and down movement. Ah, the unexpected benefits of politics – hard thighs!

Check-in Wednesday is Here! It’s Go Time!

Welcome, Winter Writing Festival Participants!

We’re just a little over the half-way mark, and I don’t know about you but it’s getting a little bit harder to put my fingers on the keyboard. Don’t know why…losing steam I guess. So this pep talk is as much for me as it is for you. Cause we’re all in this together, right?

Yesterday on Valentine’s Day I attended a meeting of an educational sorority in my hometown and spoke to them about my writing career. Before it was time for me to speak, they had a general business meeting. What I heard there was all too familiar to me as a President of an RWA chapter – basically it was absolute begging for someone to step up to serve on the new board. When the president pleaded for a few members to step up, she was met with crickets, and as uncomfortable as I felt as the guest speaker, I knew how crappy it felt to throw oneself on the mercy of a group of peers (especailly since it was my second grade math teacher doing the begging). It’s hard to get people to DO stuff. It takes prodding, pleading, begging, empty promises, swag, and guilt trips sometimes to get people to say, “Sure, I’ll do it.”

Master Tweeting for Authors-2

So we’re back to Twitter again, huh?  If you missed the first post, you can find it HERE.

So much to know, so little time.  In fact SO much to know, that I ended up cutting this post off at one topic, when I’d planned on covering several.  But, the truth is, the almighty @ took up so much room, I didn’t want to totally bog you down with other things, too.  I’ve chosen another date in April to finish it all up.

There is a lot of nitty gritty here, but it’s valuable nitty gritty.  The kind of stuff that I wish I’d known early on, because I wouldn’t have learned by mistakes.  It might look cluttered at first glance, but I’ve tried to par it down to digestable little snipits with examples.

It’s all about the @ on Twitter.

Master Tweeting for Authors

Okay, I’m no master, but this is not a how to beginners guide, either.  We already know you’re on it and using it, but are you using it to your full advantage?

If you think you’re not interested in Twitter, if you hear Twitter and think, I don’t have time for that, or I have nothing to tweet, or what a waste of time…I have a couple of stories for you at the end of the tips section that may change your mind.  If nothing else they are warm and fuzzy stories.  We can all use a few more warm fuzzies in the world, no?

I haven’t always been a Twitter fan.  I swear my first few weeks on Twitter killed thousands of braincells.  What do you mean, no threads?  How am I supposed to keep track of anything or anyone? What the hell is everyone talking about?

I felt like I’d been dropped in the middle of a cocktail party where I knew no one and kept picking up partial conversations of which I couldn’t quite elbow myself into.

I missed the organization of threads on Facebook, my original social media of choice, and eventually deleted my Twitter account.  But then guess what happened?  Yep, a few weeks later, I realized I missed the immediacy and intimacy and utter rampage of information on Twitter.

What was a girl to do?  I got TweetDeck.  But I’m not going to talk about TweetDeck today, I’m going to talk about Twitter and what I’ve learned about the nuances of that particular social media that made it more manageable and less chaotic.

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