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Showing posts from November, 2011

Many Thanks to All! by Anne Elizabeth

I am deeply honored to be a member of this a nation, a place where we willingly share and provide gratitude. This month we celebrated Thanksgiving and I must admit that it is one of my favorite holidays.  The unique spirit that is heralded throughout these United States as we stop our ordinary daily tasks to gather together and express our heartfelt messages of joy.  The time of sharing gratitude may be long or short, but together – as one people – we embrace this basic principle with our family, friends, community, and even more wonderfully strangers.  In my heart, this essence of kindness and morality is a precious time and worth relating to the military path for it makes me think of those who sacrifice for this nation.  Thus, when I talked to my husband about this month’s blog, my favorite retired Navy SEAL suggested I share the U.S. Navy SEAL Ethos.  This is an ethical belief, too, born out of courage, dedication, and a singular spirit — in the same way, we as a nati…

I’m Thankful for Cover Artists

I will never forget the first time I had to fill out a cover art form. I was both excited and terrified—what if I got it wrong somehow?

Like every author I had dreamed of that moment when I first saw my name on a cover, and I wanted that cover to be awesome, one that made the reader pick up the book. Because covers are the first thing the reader sees it has to be eye catching and convey a sense of the book. A cover has a lot of work to do.

But I had (and still have) no idea what makes a good cover, all I know is, I know what I like when I see it. Even after seven novellas and a couple of novels I still struggle when it comes to cover art descriptions.

So this is heartfelt thank you to all the cover artists who have seen my notes and have come up with something that captures the book and is beautiful/hot/intriguing/enticing and awesome!

Thankful for Laughter, of Course!

I'm thankful for a lot of things, so it was really hard to narrow it down to just one. This week was full of ups and downs. One thing that helps us is the ability to laugh. There's just something about laughter that helps sooth our souls. Whether you're watching a Mel Brooks Film (Spaceballs is still my favorite) or reading the Sunday comics, those giggles just work their magic. This got my curiosity piqued, so I decided to do a little research. Why exactly is laughter the best medicine? I mean really? Are there really health benefits to laughter?

And the answer is YES! There are tons of physical, as well as mental, benefits to laughter. Some of the physical include cardiovascular, blood sugar, pain relief and even immunity. It improves your mood and can help relieve stress and anxiety. The main reason is that laughter helps release endorphins, neurotransmitters that when released act as an analgesic which can help lower pain and increase someone's feeling of well b…

Minor Joys

from Mia Marlowe...

Update: Thanks to everyone who left a comment or question. I love hearing from you. My random winner is Betty Hamilton! If you didn't win, don't despair. I hope you'll pop over to my website for a chance to win a whole box of books just in time for Christmas!

It's easy to list off the big things for which we're thankful. It requires a little more thought to recognize the small joys of our daily lives. We have to pay attention. We have to be intentional about noticing that glow of warmth that steals over us.

When I was a child, I had a little book of verse called The Cheerful Cherub by Rebecca McCann. I love this collection of optimistic rhymes and many of the ones I committed to memory as a girl are with me still. Here's one that really describes what I'm talking about today:



One minor joy I have in fall
Almost too small to speak about--
It's after rain to step on leaves
And see the water spurting out.

Now that's a very small joy. But a…

The Big Three That Keeps Every Writer Going, by Tracey Devlyn

Like the other Casababes, I’m going to share areas of my life that bring me happiness, surround me in comfort, and keep me hopeful.
HAPPINESS
My husband. I’ve mentioned before on this blog about my supportive and loving hubby. He listens to my fears with patience and encouragement and celebrates my accomplishments with love and homemade spaghetti sauce.
My stepdaughter. For being the daughter of my heart and for always asking me how my day went. Without her, there would be no Mother’s Day for me.
My rescue Doberman. Without fail, he enthusiastically greets me at the door every day when I come home from work. His wagging nubbin’ and silly antics make the day’s difficulties fade away.
COMFORT
My home. After many years of dreaming and planning, my husband and I have finally created a little oasis in the suburbs of Chicago. Hubby got his koi pond and I got my fireplace. Now, if we could move it all to a spot near the Gulf, life would be perfect-o!
My job. I know, I know. I bellyache about worki…

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you all a very
Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm thankful for...memories!

I love Thanksgiving.
There's not the hassle of presents or too much worry (in our part of the country) about the weather. There's food and family and friends and it's a loud noisy zoo and when it's over I'm ready for a nice padded cell but I love it. Thus, it's officially my holiday and the door is open. That means our kids, their in-laws and their friends are all invited, along with anyone else who doesn't have a family.


Tomorrow is the big day! I'm in the kitchen making pecan pies (for both my daughters), pumpkin pies (for my middle grandson), lemon pies (for Husband) and pumpkin cheesecakes (for both my sons-in-law and one granddaughter). And hot yeast bread from Husband's grandmother's recipe for the whole bunch of them. We'll probably say grace with thirty or more people holding hands in a circle and then it's feasting the rest of the day.

And sometime in the middle of the afternoon we'll sing happy birthday to our middle child, A…

I'm Thankful For Our Faithful Dog, Chickens, and Deadlines by C.H. Admirand

I’m so thankful our dog wakes me up between midnight and one o’clock every morning—if she didn’t I wouldn’t have a blog written for today—which reminds me of chickens! Whenever I get distracted halfway through a thought, our oldest just looks at me, smiles and says,  “There goes another chicken.” I guess you’d have to have met my fabulously supportive and wonderful family to understand them. I’d be lost without them…even if I have to put up with a lot of good-natured ribbing.
I’m thankful for deadlines, opportunities, and a fabulous editor, Deb Werksman. This has been a whirlwind year for me. I’ve been given the opportunity to write for an editor who understands where I am coming from, but more, has taught me to dig even deeper to write stories that a year ago would not have been possible. I loved every minute I spent in Pleasure, Texas with the Garahan brothers: TYLER, DYLAN and JESSE. With Deb’s guidance, I have reached another milestone in my career: Receiving 4 ½ Stars from RT Book…

Gratitude List & Giveaway, by Sara Humphreys

I'm thankful for many things and I try to be mindful of it every day. Sometimes, when life throws me a curve ball or I'm having a crappy day, it can be challenging to remember that. So I decided to write up a list (in no particular order) that I could refer to in case I decide to have a momentary pity-party. A list that would shout at me... Stop feeling sorry for yourself, quit your bitching and get back to business.

Good Health--I'm over 40 and everything still works the way it should...so far. I may have more wrinkles on my face but I've earned each laugh line and loved every minute of it. Bring it on. I don't mind getting older since it's more appealing than the alternative.





Girlfriends--They are directly repsonsible for a signficant portion of my laugh lines and I love them for it. Nothing cures the ills better than a long convo with a true girlfriend, a bottle of shiraz and lots of laughs.

Our Home: It's a crooked little house on a crooked little street …

I'm thankful that WHAT A GODDESS WANTS is on sale now!

If you haven't yet read WHAT A GODDESS WANTS, the first book in the Forgotten Goddesses series, you might want to think about getting it now. 
WHAT A GODDESS WANTS, the story of Tessa, the Etruscan Goddess of the Dawn, and Caligo, the hot Cimmerian warrior who loves her, is on sale at Amazon for $3.28 and at B&N for $3.99 right now.
IN HIS ARMS, HER MAGIC POWERS ARE ON THE RISE...
Tessa, Etruscan Goddess of the Dawn, is losing her powers and now there's an Underworld god determined to run her down. She needs a hero and fast, because only sexual energy can give her power. So she seeks out Caligo, whose sexual prowess is legendary... AND SHE'S THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN BRING HIM INTO THE LIGHT... Caligo is a fabled Cimmerian warrior determined to stay away from spoiled goddesses who trample hearts after they've had their fun. But there's something irresistibly hot and inviting about Tessa and he knows he's her only change…

Gratitude by Tamara Hogan

Thanksgiving is, of course, the time of year where the concept of thankfulness is visibly front and center. Here is where I must admit that, by personality and profession, I'm a problem-solver, more immediately attuned to recognizing and then correcting exceptions, deviations and negatives.
Sometimes I need a reminder to break out of problem-solving mode, and consciously acknowledge the things I'm thankful for. Thanksgiving gives me that reminder.
In no particular order:
Good health:  For those of us living with chronic illness, the concept of good health is a relative, sometimes day to day, thing, but all things considered, 2011 was a pretty great year health-wise. My metric? I barely met my insurance deductible!

Modern medicine:  Every time I grumble about how many sticks it takes for me to have blood taken, I try to remember that had I been born even a decade earlier than I was, I likely would have died during my teen years. I'm thankful for butterfly syringes, with thei…

Thankful For...Puppy Breath! (By Catherine Mann)

My youngest son says that puppy breath is the most special, innocent scent in the world – and the one scent that cannot be replicated. I completely agree. In this month of Thanksgiving, I’m so grateful that I have the privilege of puppy breath in my life! (Photo: Banjo)



For those of you who don’t know, I’m active in animal rescue. I foster puppies and special needs dogs for my local Humane Society (PAWS http://www.paws-shelter.com/index.html ) and also just started my first term on their board of directors. Currently, I have three bulldog mix puppies. (Photo: Finn/tan puppy and Buster/black & white pup)



Puppies cannot be legally adopted out in Florida until they are at least 8 weeks old, but a shelter environment can be particularly dangerous with their immature immune systems. That’s where fostering kicks in. While in my care, the puppies will have had two rounds of puppy vaccinations - provided by the shelter vet clinic. And lots of socialization - provided by my family! (Phot…

A Feast of Gratitude

By Leah Hultenschmidt, Senior EditorA little shout-out of gratitude to my romance folks who makes doing a job I love even more awesome:Macy Beckett – I fall into your books and it’s a like a big welcome home (and I’m not even from Texas!).Can’t wait for more from Sultry Springs! Isabel Cooper – The most amazing hook ever: Terminator meets My Fair Lady.And next up, Victorian X-Men. You take everything I love and make it wonderfully new and fresh.Christy English – Talk about sparks a-flyin’!And yet you have the historical detail down to a T.In How to Tame a Willful Wife, Shakespeare never looked so good.Jayne Fresina – from Aubrey: Your books are the total package: funny and sweet, witty and sexy. I want to go to a ball with Sophie and Ellie, sneak away for a little spiked punch and hit on the hot footmen.Leigh Greenwood – A gentleman of the highest sense. No wonder everyone adores your heroes!
Shona Husk – Your imagination enthralls me, and the number of people you’ve convinced that go…

Deadline Thanks

I'm in buckle-down deadline mode for ENSLAVED, the fifth book in my Eternal Guardians series, so instead of a rambling post about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday (which I can't even think about yet) I'm going to share my I'm So Freakin' Thankful For These Things During Deadline Days list with you:
1. My husband. During deadline crunch time he turns into Mr. Mom on crack. He does all the cooking, all the cleaning, all the laundry (doesn't even shrink my clothes) all the kid-duty AND he kicks me out of the house to get away and write. Of course he's number-obsessed..."How many words did you get done today?"...and doesn't quite understand that a book isn't necessarily done at 100K words, but I'm willing to cut him some slack. (So long as he keeps making me breakfast.)
2. Wine. Lots of it. Nothing knocks me out and makes me sleep better after a full day of writing than a bottle, er...GLASS of wine. (Yeah, glass. That's what I said.)
3.�…

THANK YOU, DEAR READER by Kathryne Kennedy

This is the month where we all count our blessings, and although I have many things to be grateful for, I would like to pay homage to those at the top of my list: my readers. I have the best in the world. They reach out to me in so many ways, and make writing a much more rewarding experience for me. There's something special about romance readers in general. They are an incredibly loyal group of people, dedicated to particular stories and authors. So I put together a list of characteristics that I've observed over my years of writing that they seem to share as a group:

You know you’re an avid romance reader if…

Walking into a room covered in flowers and candles makes you weak in your knees.

You have sex more often with your partner (I can’t recall the percentage, but it’s been documented that women who read romances have more encounters than those who don’t.)

The sight of the New Romance Releases shelf in the bookstore makes your heart pitter-patter.

Your library card is frayed …

Changing times

by Cheryl Brooks
Wow! Can you believe it's already November 14th???? Thanksgiving is only ten days away. My turkey is in the freezer, and I've already bought stuffing mix. All I have left to get are the crescent rolls, the ingredients for my traditional cheesy potato casserole, and the pumpkin pie. I baked a pumpkin this year, so I'll have lots and lots of pumpkin to make pumpkin bread with. I'm going to have to wait until after Thanksgiving to bake it though, because I have to work Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights that week. That's one of the downsides to working in a hospital. Someone always has to work the holiday.

Which brings me to a bittersweet decision I made recently. Last year, our hospital was purchased by a large healthcare corporation that led us to believe conditions would improve and that the hospital would grow. However, to our collective dismay, we have found that rather than growing, our hospital is now shrinking. About the only good thing to …

I’m So Thankful by Shana Galen

There are so many things I’m thankful for this time of year—my family, my friends, good health, toddlers who sleep through the night, and much, much more.

When I think about my life as a writer, I’m glad to be writing for Sourcebooks, glad to be writing stories I love, glad to be working with a great editor, publicist, marketing people, and the Casababes.

But right now I am exceedingly grateful for the new title and cover of my February book, The Rogue Pirate’s Bride. Here it is! What do you think?



This book has been through several covers and three or four titles (I lost count), but I think we’ve finally found the perfect one. And even though it’s not related to Lord and Lady Spy, I love how the two covers complement one another.



You know what else I’m thankful for? Fabulous author friends who donate books for me to giveaway on my Facebook page. Every week I give away copies of awesome books, and when I reach 2000 LIKES, I’m giving away Julie Quinn’s complete signed backlist! I feel…

Thankful for our veteran's love stories

Some of the best love stories involve military backdrops. My own family of origin wouldn't exist without the military. My brother and sister-in-law met in the Navy. My mom and dad met in the Army, and their love story could come straight from the pages of...Playboy? LOL. Yes. It's one of THOSE stories. So, let's go straight to that one. (grin)

My mom was a remarkable woman. I want to give you some of her backstory first. She was raised Quaker on a farm with 11 brothers and sisters. As you probably know, Quakers don't join the Army. Because passivity is part of their core belief system, they're considered conscientious objectors. So, how on earth was my mother in line on the first day women were allowed to enlist in the military? Simple answer, World War II. Complicated answer...or maybe it's simple too, she was a rebel from the get go. Apparently her family was so used to her defying convention, they just threw their hands up and said, "Oh well...that'…

FORTUNE'S SON BOOK LAUNCH

FORTUNE'S SON BOOK LAUNCH PARTY!!
Love is the ultimate gamble…

Seasoned gambler Philip Drake knows every trick and uses most of them. After years of infamy, he’s ready to accept the mantle of respectability with his earldom— until a devastating racing loss and the threat of debtors’ prison force Philip right back into his gaming ways…

Susannah, Lady Messingham, is a woman with a past who refuses to belong to any man again. But Philip’s skill catches her eye and she persuades him to teach her how to win at the tables. Their new partnership turns into an exhilarating high-stakes game that entangles them in terrifying risk and unimaginable rewards…

Immerse yourself in the risky side of Georgian England with a pair of lovers who aren’t afraid to risk it all on a toss of the dice...

~
When I began writing FORTUNE’S SON,  I was obsessed with capturing the tone and excitement of the Georgian gaming world.  Second only to creating an intense chemistry between Philip and Lady Susann…

So Many Things to Be Thankful For + A Giveaway!

By Danielle Jackson
I don’t know about all of you, but I know that once Halloween is over, my mind goes straight into Christmas mode, and I basically forget about Thanksgiving until the night before when I’m up to my elbows in flour and sprinkles for various baked goods. But seriously, how could I overlook a day of good food, family and most importantly, giving thanks for the wonderful things that have happened during the past year. And let me tell you—there have been a lot of things for all of the Casablanca Authors to celebrate!
BESTSELLERS This year, we had MULITPLE romance and women’s fiction bestsellers on both the New York Times and USA Today lists. What an incredible accomplishment on the part of our authors—I know how hard all of you work, and it is so gratifying to see all of it come to fruition by that lovely bestseller status:
Grace Burrowes: New York Times and USA Today for The Heir and The Soldier Carolyn Brown: New York Times and USA Today for Love Drunk Cowboy Anita Clenney: