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My holiday idol is....drum roll..........my dentist

Yes, dentist. I have to apologize for being so absent the past two weeks. What started as a dull ache in my tooth turned into a horrible tooth ache that spread to my bone and cheek. It was painful and my aunt who was visiting insisted on taking all kinds of pictures to document just how bad I felt and LOOKED. Gotta LOVE family. Here is the closest thing to one of those shots I ever want to go public.



If nothing else, it did prevent my holiday indulging. Finally, now though, I am human again, and just in time to ring in the New Year. And how am I going to ring in the New Year? At Home. We have snow and -10 degree temps right now. Home might sound boring, but I LOVE the fireplace and snuggling up with a blanket. Besides, Rick Springfield is performing in Time Square so I have to be glued to the television to watch that. I saw him him in Vegas years ago and loved him just as much as I did at 16. Yes. Now you know my holiday idol AND my teen idol.





Despite my tame New Years Eve I am very e…

The Knot at the End of the Rope

"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on."--Thomas Jefferson


At the beginning of 2010 I was at the end of my proverbial publishing rope. I had been searching for an agent to help me get my Amoveo Series picked up by a new publisher. I needed to find a home for my shifters. Bottom line... I needed help. Big time. I needed an agent to help me navigate the intricate world of publishing. I had discovered (the hard way) that I couldn't do it on my own.I had come so- close-so-many-times to getting signed, but ultimately nada. I'd climb that rope and just before I'd reach the top--BAM--they'd say, "No thanks." Time after time, I'd climb up only to slide back down the rope--but I never let go. That knot at the bottom was big enough to keep me hanging on. I'm certain it's a story that's familiar to many authors. I had heard from so many other writers that it was incredibly important to find the right agent-- not just …

After the Holidays

My debut year has ended in December with publication of “The Heir,” a Regency romance involving—who would have thought?—a damsel, a swain, some struggles, some lovin’, some more struggles, some more lovin’, and a happily ever after. And I confess, though it’s lovely and a Wish Come True to see the book in print, there’s an element of post-partum depression about the whole experience.You write for several years, hoping, hoping, hoping, and cadging whatever wisdom and guidance you can from wherever you can find it.You sink money into conferences, craft books, workshops, paraphernalia, a decent computer, and another decent computer when the first one goes up in smoke at the exact worst moment.You make writing connections, maybe even writing buddies (yo, Robin). You scrape together all your courage (or in my case, a couple of White Russians) and tackle the much dreaded Pitch. You send off queries, queries, more queries, and a few partials and lecture yourself sternly about all those Big N…

The End....

So I end 2010 the same way I started...

Running as fast as I can and still managing not to reach the end of the line.

You'll notice this blog is late. Yes, I forgot. When the reminder came through, I thought it must be the other Stephanie's day to blog. Did you notice any other Stephanie on the sidebar of this blog? No, because there are none.

My mother's favorite saying when I was growing up: "You'd lose your head if it wasn't attached." I'm embarrassed to say she's absolutely right. But I do have an excuse. I've been really freaking busy.

This month has been hectic. I've worked on copy edits for WHAT A GODDESS WANTS (Forgotten Goddess Book 1), revisions for MOONLIGHT TEMPTATION (Lucani Lovers Book 4) and the first draft of WHAT A GODDESS NEED (Forgotten Goddess Book 2).

Add in Christmas and I'm pretty sure I forgot not only my name but there are probably a few Christmas gifts still somewhere in the house. Luckily, my husband's an…

THE END of 2010

By Tamara Hogan

Like so many other Casablanca authors who've blogged about THE END this month, I have to agree that the end of one thing very often hastens the beginning of something else.  This is particularly true of authors, books, and the calendar year.

After a shell-shocking 2009, during which my first manuscript was named a Golden Heart finalist, won a paranormal Daphne, and <gulp> sold to Sourcebooks in a three-book deal, 2010 has continued in the same vein. Looking back, my primary impression of 2010 is one of great learning:
working with Deb on developmental edits, and chopping over 30k words from the manuscript in the processstarting to write TASTE ME's follow-up, CHASE ME - and feeling such relief when my writing process started to fall into place cover design - happily, Deb and I both had the same scene in mind for TASTE ME's cover. learning about the publishing processturning around page proofs and layout pages blogging with the Casablanca authors and Th…

Day After Christmas - an ending or a beginning? (by Catherine Mann)

Although our December blog theme is about endings, I can't help but see beginnings all around me!

My amazing kids are growing up and starting exciting, new phases of their lives...


My husband and I are enjoying more time together....


And a most poignant sign of beginnings? We foster for the Humane Society and currently have a mama dachshund and her three puppies in our home for the holidays. (Peanut and her babies - Cheyenne, Buckaroo, and Cowboy.)


Our foster dogs this holiday season make me think of this poem by Elise Lewis.... Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

"A Puppy's 12 Days of Christmas"

On the first day of Christmas my puppy gave to me
The Santa topper from the Christmas tree.
On the second day of Christmas my puppy gave to me
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the third day of Christmas my puppy gave to me
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the fourth day…

Endings

By: Anita Clenney

Christmas is upon us and the end of the year is fast approaching. What a year it's been for me. Making my first sale, achieving my dream. I've gone through revisions, edits, copy edits, and now it's in the capable hands of my publisher. I'm finished with my part of the creation so it feels like I've reached an end, but it really isn't. As all of you know, probably even better than me, there is still a lot of work to do. In fact, some would stay the work has just begun. Promotion, more writing, more promotion.

Endings are usually just a starting point for something else. Death is the beginning of eternity. Fall is the just the earth resting so it can blossom bigger and brighter next year. One day's end starts another. When I finish a book, I know it isn't the end for those characters. They'll be back, helping the current hero and heroine solve their dilemmas, so I can move on to the next hero and heroine.

I'm finishing the second …

The End...For My Last Blog of the Year...

That Realistic Ending (Romance Style, Of Course)

I love a good happy ending. Probably why I return to romance time and again as a reader. I love being left with that optimistic feeling that good can triumph evil, that even a broken heart can be healed, that true love conquers all. Is it realistic in real life? Maybe not always, but our world is depressing enough. A little hope at the end of a book isn't too much to ask.

Realism is something readers will call an author on, though. The romance, that happily ever after, has to be believable or the reader walks away feeling cheated. A long lasting love is believable if a book spans a year or more, but what about when a book only covers a week? Or how about less than a week? Can two people fall in love for the long haul in such a short amount of time?
Let's look at the science.
Researchers have shown it takes between 90 seconds and four minutes to decide if you're interested in someone. This interest has little to do with what someone says but rather,
55% is through body language …