Tuesday, September 30, 2014

That wasn’t in the brochure…

In August I had an excellent holiday in New Zealand (I also attended the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference). As an Australian New Zealand is like some kind of haven from creatures that want to kill you (everything in Australia wants to kill you from the smallest tick to the largest croc). It’s spoken about in hallowed tones.

a bubbling mud pool
Imagine a place with no poisonous snakes or spiders where it rains gumdrops and snows marshmallows (maybe not the gumdrop and marshmallows…).

Then I went to Auckland zoo and read about the wasp problem.

So while you can research a place on the internet nothing beats going there in person. Here are a few things that also weren't in the brochures.

Rotorua smells. Famous for its hot springs and spas nowhere was the rotten egg smell mentioned. It seeped into the hotel room and clung to the car like day old fart even after we’d left. But the museum and history were fascinating and it is well worth a visit, but be prepared.

view from the bus window
(taken by hubby as I couldn't look)
Mt Hutt is known for its skiing (and the skiing was great—snowboarding is harder than it looks—the weather was perfect and by day three I wasn’t falling over all the time, I’d also switched to skiing) but the trip up the mountain is hair-raising at best. Cliff on one side and a sheer drop on the other. The road was much too narrow for my delicate tastes (I don’t like heights and had to psych myself up twice a day to get on the bus). A few days later I learned that in nor-westers the road up is closed as cars have been blown off the road…gulp.

I am the epitome of cool...err...
maybe not but at least I'm upright!
Glossy horse trekking brochure…err…let’s just say there was no gloss in reality. The horses behaved and the trek through the country side was very nice. When one doesn’t ride regularly it’s easy to forget how bouncy horses are and also how frequently they fart (to my kids’ delight).

GPS is random, and sometimes the shortest route is via the back roads right past a chocolate factory (of course I stopped! The GPS must have known ;) )

When writing it’s easy to ignore the gritty reality but sometimes it’s those extra details that make the place seem real.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Everyone's a Winner When Fall is in the Air!

from Mia Marlowe...

I'm so tired of summer.

It's been hot and sticky and busy. I'm ready for crisp days and shivery nights. I want to see the winter constellations begin to peek over the horizon. I'm ready to break out my sweaters and woolly socks.

Something about autumn just calls for a stack of books and cocooning and evenings spent before a crackling fire. Of course, it also means that winter is coming, but I'll put up with that for the glory of fall.

Of course, autumn promises to be as busy as summer as far as writing goes. I have new books coming out in both October and November. On October 7th, Once Upon a Plaid hits the bookstore shelves. It's the story of William and Kat, two people who love each other dearly, but what is a couple to do in 16th century Scotland when a laird needs an heir and his beloved wife is barren? Many tears fell on the keyboard while I was writing this Christmas story. I'm thrilled to share that Publishers Weekly gave it one of their rare STARRED reviews. Here's a link to the first THREE chapters! 

But my next book, A Rake by Any Other Name, is filled with laughter. This new series is my Regency-set answer to Downton Abbey, a show I'm hopelessly addicted to. Part of the fun of Downton is the wonderful house itself. In A Rake by Any Other Name, I invite you into beautiful Somerfield Park and into the lives of all the people who call it home, both upstairs and down!   

When his father Lord Somerset tumbles off the roof, Richard Barrett, Lord Hartley, is called home from his Grand Tour to take the reins of the estate while the marquess recuperates. Somerset is in serious financial difficulty which can only be remedied by marriage to an heiress, Miss Sophie Goodnight, lately arrived from India with her nabob father.

Unfortunately, Richard believes he has already lost his heart to Lady Antonia Pruett. And Miss Goodnight isn’t too keen on becoming Somerset’s purse with feet, so she foils their families’ attempts to throw her and Richard together at every turn. To make matters worse, the reason Lord Somerset fell off the roof in the first place is a secret that threatens to upend all their lives.

Like it? Pre-Order now.

 And now, a gift for YOU! If you hurry, you can get my novella Plaid to the Bone, the prequel to the Spirit of the Highlands series, FREE! 

A Bride Comes to Bonniebroch

But Cait Grant is hardly dreaming of wedded bliss. As a duty to her father, she must marry Adam Cameron, laird of Bonniebroch. And then, because of a blood oath to her clan, she must murder him…

If only her new husband weren’t so devilishly handsome. If only she didn’t have to play the loving wife for one long, languorous month. If only she didn’t surrender to his softly sensual touch, she would be able to fulfill her oath. If only she didn’t fall in love…

Download the story today for your Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iPad or GooglePlay. This offer goes away in a couple of days.  Here's a link to all the buy options!

But you don't have to buy it! Remember, it's FREE for a limited time!

Let's get a conversation going. I started this blog looking forward to fall. What do you love most about the season? Halloween? High school Friday night football? I'd love to hear from YOU!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Shana Galen's Winner

The randomly chosen winner of the copy of LOVE AND LET SPY is Andrea Giang. Andrea, email me at shana@shanagalen.com with your address.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Countdown begins...10 days until Christmas...

Don't panic! It's not really 10 days until actual December 25 Christmas. You've still got in excess of 90 days for that so you've still got time to find that special box of marzipan for Great-Aunt Gert and bottle of Great-Uncle Henry's special medicine (that would be the kind you buy at the liquor store on the holidays....that little sample kit of the three wise men...Jose, Jack and Johnny on the label).
What the countdown for is the new selection of Christmas romance books coming out in just ten

days. And I've got one in the mix! Cowboy Boots for Christmas starts a brand new series set in the fictional town of Burnt Boot, Texas. Seems that back in the cattle run days, the path from down deep in Texas up to Dodge City ran right through a narrow place in the Red River. Mr. Cleary had been on more than one cattle run and when he got to that spot on the Texas side of the Red that day he was bone tired of the whole shebang. He took off one boot and tossed in the fire, declared he wasn't going another mile and used his savings to build a general store right there. He'd never have to look at the south end of a north bound bull again or sleep out under the stars or worse yet in a downpour of rain.

The Gallaghers moved in on one side of his spread, Fiddle Creek, and the Brennans bought acres on the other side. Sometime in the past hundred years, probably back in prohibition the Gallaghers fell on hard times and the grandpa got to brewin' up some moon shine to supplement their salary. Now at that time the Brennans were a church going bunch of Irish folks. So it just came natural that when the revenuers caught Grandpa Gallagher making 'shine that the whole family blamed the Brennans for tattling. And the feud was on with Fiddle Creek right in the middle of the whole thing.

It's more than a hundred years later but the feud hasn't died down a bit and the new she-coon's in Burnt Boot, Naomi Gallagher and Mavis Brennan, have kept the fires built up real hot ever since they brought their own baggage into the feud.

Poor old Finn O'Donnell just wanted to buy a place for him and his hound dog, Shotgun, to live quietly and be left alone. He didn't expect his old buddy, Callie, who'd been his spotter through two tours of Afghanistan where he served as a sniper, to need his help. And he really did not have any idea that there was even a feud going on in the sleepy little town that sported one general store, a bar and a church. Oh, it did have a public school where the kids that weren't Gallaghers or Brennans went, but the feuding families had their own private schools on their ranches, Wild Horse and River Bend.

So what has all this got to do with Christmas? It all happens from the days right after Thanksgiving until a few days after Christmas. Feasting...frolicking... feuding...they all make for a lovely holiday! I
can't wait for it to hit the shelves and hope that it tickles everyone's fancy enough they want to read the next three in the four books series.

Merry Christmas to me and to all the Casa Authors who have holiday books coming on in exactly ten days. Like I said the countdown begins right now!! Deck the halls! Bring out the Christmas tree. Let it snow! Jingle Bells! All of it including Finn and Callie trying to find a moment to steal a kiss under the mistletoe and a hellacious feud going on all around them.

Maybe one little excerpt to set everyone in the mood for the launch of our Christmas books in ten days:
Callie had barely gotten her jeans and shirt pulled on when she heard the crunch of tires out front. That put her into fast mode as she started to worry. Martin had gotten sick and they’d been away from the house phone so Tamara had driven him home. Or, worse yet, that damn convict had connections on the outside and he’d sent someone to make sure Martin did not testify. She opened the top drawer in the dresser and pulled out a small locked safe. Two minutes later she was shoving a clip into a Glock Gen 4 pistol and heading out toward the door.

The front door was wide open, and Finn was nowhere around. If someone was bringing Martin home, then the door wouldn’t be hanging open. She pressed the gun against her leg. Then the screaming began and she put on the speed.

“You damn bitch. You’ve ruined my pie.”

Holy shit! That was Betsy and she’d really brought Finn an apple pie. Where in the hell was he, anyway?

Callie threw open the storm door to see Finn, arms crossed over his chest, standing there like a statue in his thermal shirt, jeans, and boots while Honey and Betsy squared off for another match. Only this time it damn sure didn’t look like it was going to be words only.

Good, she thought. Maybe they’ll snatch each other baldheaded and scratch each other’s eyes plumb out.

“Well, look what you did to my cookies!” Honey yelled.

Shotgun was making short order of the pie, and Pistol was gobbling down the cookies. Joe had set up a howl in the dining room squawking, “Cat. Cat. Run. Run,” over and over.

Betsy threw the first punch, landing it square in Honey’s right eye, and the fight was on. They pulled hair, screamed obscenities, and slapped or punched wherever they could find a place to hit.

“You going to put a stop to this?” she asked Finn.

He shook his head. “I’m going in the house. They can roll around in the snow until they freeze for all I care. I didn’t know that Shotgun liked apple pie. Guess he does.”

Pistol picked up the final cookie and carried it in the house. Shotgun slurped up the last bit of pie and paraded past them to his warm spot in front of the fire. Now Joe was screaming that he wanted a cracker.

“I don’t want to deal with the undertaker or frozen dead bodies,” she said. She aimed the gun at the mesquite tree nearest to the women and fired off six shots, sending bark flying everywhere.

They both jumped up and covered their heads with their hands. “Why in the hell are you shooting at us?” Honey screamed.

“If I was shooting at you, you’d be graveyard dead, woman. Get your sorry asses off this ranch, and don’t come back or I might miss that ’squite tree next time and put a bullet in your boobs. I mean it, get out of here.” She brought the gun up to aim right at Honey’s big breasts.

“You going to let her talk like that to me?” Honey asked Finn.

“I’m not crossin’ her,” he answered.

“This ain’t over,” Betsy declared on her way to her truck.

Callie fired one more shot that landed two feet from the front tire of the truck. “You want to fight among yourselves, then get on with your sorry-assed feud, but when you step on Salt Draw, you leave your fightin’ behind.”

They spun out of the driveway and slipped and slid all the way out to the road in their hurry to get away. She jacked the magazine out of her gun and carried it to the kitchen table. Damned old bitches, anyway. Now she’d have to tear it down and clean it before she put it away.
Ten...nine... excitement is dancing around like children on Christmas Eve.

Friday, September 26, 2014

On Measuring Human Distance

I love the subtle clues body language reveals. We're constantly communicating even when we keep our mouths shut. Non-verbal communication is like a foreign language and can be just as diverse to navigate from culture to culture.

As a writer, there's lots of fun communicating with a body. Take the language of space and distance.

For those of you living in North America, Australia/New Zealand, and England, our bodies and psyches recognize four basic comfort zones.

Zone # 1, The Public Zone (12 feet)
We generally like twelve feet of space when talking to a crowd. Public speaking is hard enough, but when that front row is a little too up close? Yikes! Your defense mechanism kicks in making you look further out into the crowd.

If you had a tape measure with you, your gaze would naturally fall about 12 feet or beyond.

And if you make eye contact with the first few rows...it's likely because you made a concerted effort to connect with them (and good for you for stretching that social muscle).

Zone # 2, The Social Zone (4 to 12 feet)

When you're talking with say, a plumber about doing work on your home, this is the distance we
typically observe. This is also the space we keep for co-workers we don't know so well and is the usual space for an interview.

When you're reading your next book, see if you get a sense for the uncomfortable when the villain moves in too close.

Another non-verbal cue in this zone: social mirroring.

That means your posture and hands gestures mimic the person you're with. If you copy the other person's body language, you're seeking acceptance. This is also a great way interviewers make a job applicant comfortable.

Does that sound manipulative? Don't worry. We usually do this without even being aware of mirroring the other person. In the world of rapid non-verbal speak, we're telling each other "we're thinking along the same lines. You're safe with me."

Zone # 3, The Personal Zone (18 inches to 4 feet)

This zone's for friendly social gatherings. We feel safe and our body language reflects this. Facial muscles are relaxed. We smile a lot in this zone.

This is also the perfect "inside voice" place moms love so much. Are you picturing your last car ride with rambunctious kids?

Here you also find cultures divergences. The Japanese, for example, have a tighter sense of space. While the norm for the Japanese "Personal Zone" is smaller, Germans land on the other end of the spectrum, purported to have the largest "Personal Zone" of all cultures.

But the next zone is the most intriguing...

Zone # 4, The Intimate Zone (6 inches to 18 inches)

We keep this for spouses, very close friends, and family. To let someone in this close conveys trust and a willingness to let your guard down. We become defensive and on edge when someone we think doesn't deserve such status moves into this territory. A person moving in too close is viewed as aggressive or domineering.

The same is true with letting someone touch your head. Other than your hair stylist, you'd duck away from someone trying to touch that intimate area of your body. You enter into a kind of social contract to allow your stylist to get close.

We're very protective of our noggins and the immediate, intimate zone.

What about 6 inches or less?

Zone # 4, The Sub-Zone (no sexual pun intended!)

Here human contact digs deep in the rich language of love.

Need I say more?

Cheers to you, Reader!


Thanks for stopping by the Casablanca Blog today. If you're looking for a tale loaded with non-verbal communication, take a look at Meet the Earl at Midnight. 

Amazon US  ~  Amazon CAN  ~  Amazon UK ~  Amazon AUS

Barnes & Noble  ~ Kobo  ~  iTunes  ~  Google Play  ~  BAM

Powell's   ~  Indie Bound   

Come visit my website for more ...  GinaConkle.com 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

10 Haunted Hot Heroes for Just $0.99!

With Halloween creeping closer and closer, why not fill up your e-reader with some sexy paranormal bad boys? How about TEN full-length novels for only 99 cents! 

*Limited time offer!

10 Thrilling Tales of Sexy Alpha Bad Boys

CRESCENT MOON – From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Lori Handeland
FOREVER FREED by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Laura Kaye
SPELLBOUND by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Opal Carew, writing as Amber Carew
SINS OF THE FLESH by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Caridad Pineiro
SPELL BOUND by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Julian
HAUNTING A COWBOY – A Brand New Story from USA Today Bestselling Author Randi Alexander
HUNTRESS FOR HIRE by USA Today Bestselling Author Terry Spear
DEAD SEXY by USA Today Bestselling Author Paige Tyler
ASMODEUS: DEMON OF LUST by Bestselling Author Sara Humphreys
BEAUTY AND THE BEST by Bestselling Author, Judi Fennell

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CRESCENT MOON by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Lori Handeland A cryptozoologist travels to New Orleans to investigate whispers of a wolf in the Honey Island Swamp.
SPELLBOUND by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Opal Carew What is Lucinda, a tenth level wizard, to do when Destiny pairs her with a man who is utterly domineering, overwhelmingly masculine, incredibly irresistible and, according to her most trusted friend, extremely dangerous?
FOREVER FREED by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Laura Kaye A reclusive, empathic vampire falls in love with a woman he planned to kill, and must fight his ancient guilt, bloodlust, and an old vampire rival who threatens everything he holds dear.
SINS OF THE FLESH by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Caridad Pineiro Mick Carrera is a mercenary hired to eliminate problems, but the genetically engineered woman with the superhuman powers is nothing like what he expected.
SPELL BOUND by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Julian A warrior born to defend. A young witch in need of protection. A dangerous desire neither of them expected.
HAUNTING A COWBOY – A Brand New Story from USA Today Bestselling Author Randi Alexander When a ranch foreman hires a ghost whisperer to handle the spirit that’s haunting him, the attraction between them is…supernatural
HUNTRESS FOR HIRE by USA Today Bestselling Author Terry Spear He’s bound to get her killed, so why does the huntress desire the vampire-turned hunter more than life itself?
DEAD SEXY by USA Today Bestselling Author Paige Tyler Can her love save him from a curse worse than death?
ASMODEUS: DEMON OF LUST by Bestselling Author Sara Humphreys ASMODEUS: When Kai Kelly discovers an unusual ring in the attic it leads to much more than she bargained for. She may not realize what she has in her possession, but the boys in Hell sure got the message.
BEAUTY AND THE BEST by Bestselling Author, Judi Fennell Reclusive artist Todd Best hasn’t produced anything since the death of his wife…until aspiring romance novelist Jolie Gardener enters his life and turns it upside down.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Recommended Reading by Kathryne Kennedy

There is only one good thing about taking a medical leave, and that is I have time to catch up on my reading. When I’m writing and in the middle of a book, it’s more difficult to leave my world, and enter someone else’s. So today I’m giving a list of the books I’ve read over the past few months, books that have helped me forget the pain…and the frustration of not being able to work. The good thing about being a writer is, I can call it all research!

Since I knew I had a blog post coming up, I thought I’d share some of the fabulous books I’ve read recently. I have good days and bad, so when I have the good, I can post an entry for a later date. Unfortunately, I never know if on that date, I’m gonna be having a day where I’m feeling well enough to respond to any remarks, so if I’ve missed you at any time, my apologies, and I hope that when my issues are resolved I can get back to being more reliable regarding comments.

Romance novels aren’t just romances anymore. Ask any avid reader, and they’ll tell you that romances now span the genres from Science Fiction to Mystery to pretty much every subgenre in between. Usually the novels are half romance and half the other genre, so readers have a wonderful assortment of stories to choose from. Of course, there are still what I think of as the ‘classic’ romance story, where the plot is minimal and the story primarily centers around the relationship between the hero and heroine. And I, of course, love them all, cause I never, ever, met a book that I didn’t like or learn from in some way.

 So here’s the outstanding assortment of  books I was grateful to have read:

Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison
A paranormal romance, very dark and quite scary. I had a difficult time putting this one down. The concept, plot and characters were just so exceptional.

No Proper Lady by Isabel Cooper
The tattoo on the back of the cover model is a clue to this time-travel romance. But there’s magic involved, so deftly woven into the world that it’s wonderfully believable. I loved how those in the past knew about other possible futures, so it made the heroine’s entry into the historical world, and her connection with the hero, such a fast-paced love story.

Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs
I’ve reader several of her Mercedes series, but have to say, I adore this series the most (Masques was the first book, best read in order). The relationship between the heroine and Wolf is one where you know they are the only two people in the world meant for each other. And talk about a tortured hero…. It’s the skill of a great writer that makes you fall in love with him despite (or maybe because of?) his horrid past.

The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel
Although I have been looking forward to reading this conclusion to the Earth’s Children series, the length of this book made me hesitate to get started on it for fear I wouldn’t be able to put it down. There was a lot of cave-visiting, and it made me wonder if it was based on real-life research on the part of the author. It was a joy to read more about one of my most favorite-fictional-characters-of-all-time again, Ayla.

Lord and Lady Spy by Shana Galen
I can’t express how much fun this book was! Savor it for a time when you’re feeling blue and need an escape to make you feel good. This is a historical, where both the hero and heroine have been spies and are then retired, giving them a chance to know and appreciate each other. Then they are both sent on a mission to find a murderer, and whoever wins gets to be a spy again. Clever and so charming, this book was a real treat and another must-read.

Forever a Lady by Delilah Marvelle
What I consider a ‘classic’ romance, this was a page-turner. It’s not often I read a book where the heroine is even more of a risk-taker than the hero, and this was refreshing…although the heroine is lucky she didn’t get into more trouble than she did.

Quatrain by Sharon Shinn
One of my favorite fantasy authors, this is a collection of four short stories, in several of her worlds, including the “Summers at Castle Auburn” world, which is the very first book of hers I read, and still my favorite. These short stories are just as fabulous as her books…she always leaves you wanting more, no matter the length.

The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae by Stephanie Laurens
Another classic historical romance, with a Scottish laird and a feisty English heiress, this is the kind of book that has you laughing with joy and cheering at the end. It appears to be one of a long line of family connected books, with three closely connected books, this being the third kidnapping by the same laird, so needless to say, I’m going to have to hunt down the rest of these books.

All these books are written by masters of the craft, and I hope you get a chance to read them. Although I enjoyed all the adventures, I’m looking forward to being able to write my own once again.

Magically Yours,

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Blissful End

I finished the first draft of Cowboy Bliss a few days ago, effectively bringing to an end the blue funk I've been in since late July. I had put the book on hold throughout June while I wrote guest blogs for the release of Rebel on July 1st, and then embarked upon the blog tour and the madness of the RWA national conference in July. I had so looked forward to Rebel's release and the chance to visit San Antonio. Unfortunately, the letdown in the wake of those events was mind-numbing, mainly because the final chapters of Cowboy Bliss had me stumped.

Writer's block is an insidious, beastly disease that affects all aspects of your life because the problems a book poses are never far from your thoughts whether you're out mowing the lawn or shopping for groceries. That preoccupation puts a damper on your spirits, dragging you down into a pervasive fit of the dismals that only the book can cure, which is peculiar because the book is also the cause.

My dilemma in this story was the true identity of the villain and his motive for murder. Talks with my husband gave me some ideas, but ultimately, there was a moment of epiphany--two of them, actually--that made the words begin to flow again.

But of course, that isn't really the end of the story, which is why I never write "THE END" on the final page of a manuscript. A book is never truly finished, only abandoned. There will be many more edits and read-throughs before it finally goes to print sometime next fall.

Meanwhile, I've already gone back to work on the romantic suspense novel I was 50,000 words into when I dropped it last November to write the cowboy series. I read through it yesterday, and was pleased to discover that it needed only a few minor tweaks. With that one reading, I'm right back there where I left those characters--in a terraced house in West London, which is a far cry from a cattle ranch in Wyoming.
Now all I have to do is figure out how this one ends. *;) winking

To help stave off the dismals as the weather turns colder, I'm giving away a prize package of goodies from the RWA national conference. Post a comment or use the Rafflecopter for your chance to win! Earn extra points by signing up for my mailing list!



  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 22, 2014

Regency Slang by Shana Galen

Disclaimer: A version of this blog was originally published on Love Historicals in April.
I’ve always been fascinated by slang. I remember as a kid I liked using the slang I heard in the Star Wars movies. I’d tell other kids, “Now you’re Bantha fodder!” Yeah. I got some weird looks.

When I was in high school, I fell in love with the 1940s. The famous jazz singer Cab Calloway wrote a jive dictionary I just adored. I still love his songs, like “Are You Hep to the Jive?” with lines like, “Whaddya say, gate? Are you in the know, or are you a solid bringer-downer?”

But I don’t write books set in the Star Wars universe or even the 1940s. My books are set in Regency England, and if you’ve ever read a Regency romance, you know the novels have their own lexicon. Maybe that’s what attracted me to the period.

Not the final cover

I've been able to integrate slang into Earls Just want to Have Fun, the first first book in my new Covent Garden Cubs series. A cub is a cant (slang) word for a young thief. I’ve written about spies and courtesans, but I also wanted to dip a toe in another part of the Regency world—the part most of the people living in London were familiar with: the underworld. The hero is an earl, so he’s not all that familiar with thieves’ cant, and that made some of the character’s verbal exchanges pretty funny (to me, at least!).

But I have to say the thing I found the most interesting about Regency cant was how much of it we still use today. The words even mean pretty much the same thing thieves used them to mean 200 years ago. This actually created a dilemma for me because if I used certain period cant phrases, they sounded too modern. I was afraid the reader would think I was being anachronistic. Throwing in a “modern” phrase also means I’d run the risk of jarring the reader out of my historical setting. I had to be careful which phrases I chose because I wanted to be sure 1) the reader could figure out what they meant from context, and 2) the phrases didn’t sound too modern.

Here are a few examples of “modern” phrases that aren’t so modern.
Down—aware of a thing; knowing it.
In the Regency, a house-breaker might say, “There is no down,” meaning the people in the house are asleep or not alert. That’s not so far from some of the phrases we use today, like “Are you down with that?” or “Keep it on the down low.”

And what would the house-breaker call his fellow house-breakers? His cronies or possibly his gang. We still use gang as a label for a group of miscreants or kids up to no good.

There were other words I wanted to use but were afraid they weren’t in circulation in that period. To my surprise, many of the words we associate with crime were familiar to people in the Regency. Some of these include snitch, fence, to grease (bribe), job (like do a job; robbery), and pig (police officer or Bow Street Runner).

Interestingly, the word rap, which I didn’t have occasion to use, meant to take a false oath or curse. For example, “He rapped out a volley,” meaning he swore a lot of false oaths. Isn’t that similar to the definition of rap/rappers we have today?

By the same token, the word rogue, which shows up as part of the title of many Regency romances (including one of mine), didn’t have the meaning it has today. Today it’s sort of a compliment, meaning someone who goes out on his own or a man who's somewhat debauched (not a word we use a lot today!). In the Regency, a rogue was more or less a thief or a person who made a living by dishonest means. The arch rogue was the leader of a gang of thieves, think Fagin in Dickens’s Oliver Twist.

Just for fun, I thought I’d give you a little quiz. See how you do.

1.    Dub the jigger means
A.   stab the man.
B.   open the door.
C.   bribe an official.

2.    Dead cargo is
A.   worthless booty.
B.   a man who’s been hung.
C.   a lazy rogue.

3.    A flash ken is
A.   a rich man’s house.
B.   a container to hold gunpowder.
C.   a safe house for thieves.

I’ll post the answers later today, and I’ll be checking in to answer comments all day too. One person who comments will win a copy of my new latest release Love and Let Spy (open internationally). Winner announced Sunday!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Bake, Love, Write

I'm part of a group of over 100 authors who put together their favorite dessert recipes along with recipes for lasting love and writing advice. Bake, Love, Write was edited by Lois Wilson, and just came out yesterday!
It's kind of funny that I should be in that collective since I consider myself a terrible cook. But I did have a recipe for carb free chocolate cake, and after having just lost 45 pounds doing a high protein/low carb diet I figured I should share it.
Find Bake, Love, Write at Amazon as an Ebook for only 99 cents and  Paperback for $10.99.
Barnes and Noble 99 cents to keep handy on your nook.
What a wonderful Christmas gift this would make for your favorite writer!
What do most authors have in common, no matter what genre they write? They love desserts. Sweets sustain them through pending deadlines and take the sting out of crushing rejection letters and nasty reviews. They also often celebrate their successes—selling a book, winning a writing award, making a bestseller list, or receiving a fabulous review—with decadent indulgences. And when authors chat with each other, they often talk about their writing and their lives. Recipes. Writing. Relationships. In this cookbook 105 authors not only share their favorite recipes for fabulous cakes, pies, cookies, candy, and more, they also share the best advice they’ve ever received on writing, and their advice on love and relationships.
Authors represent a variety of genres, including mystery, romance, fantasy, paranormal, young adult, women’s fiction, new adult, non-fiction, and children’s books. Each entry includes an author bio, website (where applicable) and publication credits. So if you love the advice — or the recipe — you can check out the author and, maybe even buy their book(s)!

The authors, in no particular order, are: Brenda Novak, Lois Winston, Debra Holland, Dale Mayer, Shelley Noble, Caridad Pineiro, Diana Orgain, Lisa Verge Higgins, Lynn Cahoon, Jasmine Haynes, Jan Carol, Meg Bellamy, Bobbi Chukran, Melissa Keir, Amy Gamet, Kristy Tate, Terry Shames, Barbara Phinney, Kitsy Clare, Raine English, Cathryn Cade, Haley Whitehall, Shilpa Mudiganti, Melinda Curtis, Jessa Slade, Jill Blake, Daryl Devore, Molly MacRae, Elizabeth Rose, Helena Fairfax, Lourdes Venard, Jessica Aspen, Maegan Beaumont, Kay Kendall, Elizabeth John, Victoria Adams, Cyndi Pauwels, Alice Loweecey, June Shaw, Donnell Ann Bell, T. Michelle Nelson, Nina Milton, Pam DeVoe, Skye Taylor, Conda V. Douglas, Pepper Phillips, Judy Alter, Cadence Denton, Lesley Diehl, Erin Farwell, Regan Walker, Kaye Spencer, Barbara Monajem, Kathleen Kaska, Catherine Kean, Rose Anderson, Suzie Tullett, Deborah Hughes, Cynthia Luhrs, Judy Baker, Alicia Dean, Leslie Langtry, Janis Susan May, Mitzi Flyte, Ruby Merritt, Renee D. Field, Kathryn Quick, Susan Cory, Judy Penz Sheluk, Kay Manis, Kathryn Jane, Debra Goldstein, E. Ayers, Chantilly White, Sloan McBride, Triss Stein, Ana Morgan, Adele Downs, L.C. Giroux, Pamela Aares, Nancy Warren, Barbara Lohr, J.J. Cook, Lynn Reynolds, Cori Arnold, B.V. Lawson, Lynn Franklin, M.L. Guida, Irene Peterson, Sue Viders, Liese Sherwood-Fabre, Susan Santangelo, Sheila Seabrook, Elaine Charton, Sharleen Scott, Kathy Bennett, Jody Payne, Reggi Allder, Ashlyn Chase, Beverley Bateman, Susan Lohrer, Donis Casey, Barbara Leavy, Stacy Juba, and Karen Rose Smith.

On Sat I'll be heading down to Cape Cod for our family reunion. One of the fun things we're doing this year is having a bake off! For years we've had a difference of opinion on 1 ingredient in what we all call Nana Cookies. These wonderful soft ginger cookies were made by our Nana, and that's how they've been known since she was alive and baking them for us. My cousin is making a double batch the way their family thinks it should be done, and I'm baking a double batch the way I saw Nana herself make them. Hey--I grew up under Nana's roof and saw her make these many times. In other words, I'm right, but I'll have to prove it. So, with all of our many cousins as judges, we should finally have a verdict. Or if not, we'll have loads of cookies to send home with everyone!
 In Bake, Love, Write, we were also allowed to mention our latest books. Mine--The Cupcake Coven--went right along with the dessert and love theme! And now it's only 99 cents at Amazon, B&N, Apple iBooks, and Kobo! If you've ever wanted to check out my light paranormal romances, here's a great way to do so for less than a buck!
It's also in paperback here: createspace, but not for the 99 cent price! It's $12.99 in print.

Of course, you can find all my Sourcebooks light paranormal romances at Amazon, B&N and many other outlets! I have links to lots of information, reviews, and stores on my website

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Silver Wolf Christmas is Done! & Four More Book Sales!--And Total series set giveaway!!!

Horde of arctic wolves in a zoo 
There’s nothing more fun than finishing a book! Then after I finished reading it and sending it off to beta readers, it was time to cut out more bear orders. Received 4 more orders yesterday, have 25 to do already. Somehow, I don’t think I’m getting ahead of the game!

Steampunk and Rainbow Bears in Process
Steampunk and Rainbow Bears in Process

It’s amazing what a few hours will do–turn fur into fun creations. The two on the left are finished, though I still have to embroider all their paws. But the bears and outfits are made. And here they are! The other 4 are ready with their vests in their laps and their hats in progress. Have to make new style dresses for them.  On the rainbow bears, the one is ready to be embroidered. The next needs a nose and she’s ready to be embroidered. The last needs a head, eyes, ears and a nose, and then he needs to be embroidered.

Steampunk Bear--Sold
Steampunk Bear with navy vest–Sold
steampunk bears for dani 005 (525x640)
Steampunk Bear with Tapestry Vest–Sold!

Here's a finished Rainbow Bear Mom and Baby--Aren't they cute???
Rainbow Momma Bear and Baby
Rainbow Momma Bear and Baby
This shows the pose-ability of the large bear!
Rainbow Momma Bear Reclining and Baby Bear
Rainbow Momma Bear Reclining and Baby Bear
Momma Bear is sold!
Rainbow Momma Bear and Baby Sitting
Rainbow Momma Bear and Baby Sitting

If I was only making bears, I’d have them all done by now. But my day job…and night, is writing. So I work on the bears AFTER I get my writing done. Or…like yesterday while I was working on rereading A Silver Wolf Christmas for the last time, I was working on the two Steampunk bear hats at the same time. I usually don’t do that, but they’re not furry, so I could. Fur in the keyboard probably wouldn’t help my writing.

HOWLING!!! This just came in and I HAVE to alert you!!! Please share!! You could be in WOLF HEAVEN!!! And JAGUAR HEAVEN.
Royal Reviews is giving away my ENTIRE shifter set to one lucky commenter on her site. The WHOLE entire set, and this is worldwide!!! I’m not sure if that means through Hero of a Highland Wolf, but if so, that’s 14 wolf books and the autographed copy of Jaguar Hunt. That’s book 3 in the Jaguar series, plus the other two, Savage Hunger and Jaguar Fever.
Wolf books
1 lucky winner will win the ENTIRE set of Terry Spear’s Shifter books published by Sourcebooks Casablanca, including a signed ARC of Jaguar Hunt.
Go here to comment for a chance to win!
Giveaway is open worldwide and ends October 1. Winner will be announced on October 2 

So next project to finish up? Call of the Cougar. If I can figure out the ending, I’ll have it made! 
But in the meantime, I did cut out another 5 bears and they’re now in process. I still have more to cut out for orders. Waiting on fabric for two of them.

And....I love to take pictures--so I was grabbing another cup of tea when I saw this and had to grab my camera. Baby sparrows on the hedge right next to the window. They're not afraid of me. The cardinal, and bunnies.

 sparrows 2 (640x427)cardinal feeding (2) (640x601)

bunnies eating seeds (640x427) sparrows up close (640x427)
Okay, off to write.

Oh, some of us are in the box set for TALL, DARK and Paranormal! 825,000 words of paranormal hot alpha bad boy hunkiness for ONLY 99 cents. They're all full length novels! And an excerpt war with a $100 gift card giveaway and 10 free ebooks! https://www.facebook.com/TallDarkandParanormal

Only 99 cents! Limited time offer!
Preorders Available from Amazon Now:
All Romance Ebooks:
Barnes and Noble:

Also, I'll be hosting a Christmas party on FB for some of us who are having new Christmas releases!
It's an all day, all genre Christmas party of new Christmas book releases!


I will be giving away A SEAL Wolf Christmas and a teddy bear! One of my Christmas Elf bears made of alpaca wool, with suede paws! They have tapestry vests and velvet hats with purple glitter. Just come to the party and comment on my post for a chance to win.

 Elfinberries (640x484)

Hope you all have a lovely Friday.

Have a super great TGIF!!

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
Wilde & Woolly Bears