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Showing posts from April, 2009

Real Life in Fiction Works?

Not only do the situations that we, as authors, grew up with influence the mood and feel of our stories, but oftentimes once we've been through something it can become a part of a story. We've lived it, experienced it, can write about it. I've written about a car accident my mother and I were in, a boating accident also when I was a child, swimming with sharks and manta rays, exploring a jungle-like swamp in Florida as a teen, rappeling down a mountainside, firing weapons, and hand-to-hand combat. Then too, I often include real life drama in my stories that I've read about. I research wolves for my werewolf series, and for all the stories I write about I include real places, even if I change the names or combine different places in an area to make it my own unique place. They're still based on real areas, like in To Tempt the Wolf, or Destiny of the Wolf. In Heart of the Wolf, the red alpha leader's ranch is a real place that I found advertised for sale in

Five Easy(?) Pieces-- A Blog by Our Editor

Deb's Blog Part I Beyond Heaving Bosoms First, I must tell you about a book I've been reading while on the road the last week and a half--BEYOND HEAVING BOSOMS by Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan, paperback, $15.00, ISBN 1416571221 . This is the NEW, highly anticipated book by the Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books--it's a comprehensive look at romance fiction and why we LOVE IT SO MUCH and why all those snobbes who look down at romance readers just so don't get it. I can't possibly do justice to the hilarity of the writing in this book and its complete and total dead-on-ness because I myself am not a writer, just a lowly editor who has the privilege to work with other people's brilliant words, but let me tell you, you will laugh fit to bust your bustier, and if that's not enough, you'll read about a whole mess of fabulous books that you just have to run out and read immediately or your life won't be complete (if you're one of my authors,

When Bunny Slippers and a Gargoyle go to Las Vegas

“I can’t believe she left us on the side of the road!” An outraged Horace threw up his stony arms as he paced back and forth in the dirt. “This is gargoyle abandonment.” “We got tossed out too.” A disgruntled Fluff sighed heavily. “But it’s your fault for telling Linda she’s a lousy driver.” “Cutting off another car is not a crime and she should have cut off that eighteen wheeler. Just use your magick and zap us to the hotel,” Horace suggested.Puff shook his head. “Jazz bound part of our magick, so we’re limited this week. She said we behave or else and we’re not going to use it all up first thing.” Horace looked off to the side. “What is –?” Fluff and Puff looked in the same direction and watched the snake slithering their way. “AUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!” They leapt into the air and landed on Horace’s head. The gargoyle shouted and batted at them, but no way they were getting down. All three looked at the road as a rattletrap truck slowly made its way toward them then stopped. The man that c

Fire Me -- Writing the Comedic Novel

Do you hear that thumpa-thumpa? That's my heart beating fast as I anticipate the official release of Fire Me on May 1! Actually, the book's been shipping early, if amazon is any guide, and I was thrilled to receive my own copies from Sourcebooks a week ago. And let me say again -- they are gorgeous! The finished book is slightly different than the ARC, with a deeper blue on the cover that really pops and the lovely blurb from Melissa Senate. I know folks might be tired of me recapping Fire Me's story, but for those who don't know, it follows PR specialist Anne Wyatt through one crazy work day as she tries to "win" a lay-off and the severance package that goes with it (since she's leaving for another job anyway). She learns a lot about herself and love in the process. Fire Me is a comedy (uh, ya think? LOL!) which presented all sorts of challenges to this writer as I struggled to come up with funny situations, turns of phrase or ideas that worked a

Sending Our Babies Out Into The World

Some of you may have heard in recent weeks that I'm currently fostering a mother cat and her five kittens. As the kittens grow and develop personalities, as I tend to feeding, nurturing and cleaning up after five babies, I've grown hopelessly attached to those five precious kittens. But there's just no way I can keep them. I already have three inside cats, two turtles, and two stray "outside" cats that I care for (including the mother cat who will be spayed before she goes back outside!). So I'm faced with the fact that in the next couple of says, I'll have to send my babies out into the world to new homes. Saying goodbye will not be easy. What does this have to do writing or Casablanca books, you ask? Well, I think if you asked any author how they feel when they finish writing a book, package it up and send it off to their editor, they'll admit to a bit of sadness along with the relief of finishing. A writer can't spend weeks, months, sometimes a

RT Convention, Reader and Writer Heaven

I'm posting from the Romantic Times Convention in Orlando, Florida, and having a blast! The parties are great, the giveaways fantastic and meeting the readers and booksellers is so much fun. It really is amazing what can happen from chatting with people. Last year when I came to RT (I've been coming since 2007 when I was a finalist in the American Title III contest), I hadn't sold a book and had just learned something from one of the Gather final judges about a change that she thought would help me sell In Over Her Head. A friend invited me to a publisher party (with his editor's okay) and I was chatting with booksellers, taking a poll about this change the judge mentioned. So on Wednesday night, here, that same bookseller found me, said she'd been looking for me and that she'd wanted to talk to me about my book because she's seen "stuff" about it everywhere (gotta love hearing that, especially since she's in Australia). We connecte

Too Hot to Handle is Almost Out!

I’m sitting in the sun in Orlando working at the Romantic Times Convention while ducks walk under the tables looking for scraps and the Ellora’s Cave cavemen strut by looking yummy. It’s difficult to concentrate, so forgive me if I pause every now and then to fan myself. Too Hot to Handle is being released a bit early at the book signing on Saturday, April 25, 2009—which is also, as luck would have it, my birthday! What a fabulous birthday present. I’m thrilled with the wonderful reviews my newest book has received. Here are just a few to wet your appetite. Book Loons gave it a 3/3 Robin Kaye strikes gold in this follow up to her Domestic Gods series. Between Annabelle's old-fashioned Italian family's well-meaning interference and Mike's own trials and tribulations once he discovers his true roots, there are complications aplenty. Neither of their family's antics, however, detracts from Mike and Annabelle's thoroughly engaging characterizations or their l

Little Known Facts

Since I'm feeling a little tapped out in the blogging department today, having blogged about both my new book and my life as a writer so extensively that I am now fairly sure I'm one of the more boring people walking the earth, I thought I'd give an interactive blog a shot for today. Casababes, you up for it? We all talk so much (out of necessity, it's true) about the writing aspect of our lives that I sometimes feel the fun and fascinating women behind the curtain get a little obscured to people who don't shoot the breeze with us on a regular basis. So today, I thought it might be fun to each volunteer something our readers probably don't know about us, a fun and funky little known fact that is as much a part of who we are as the laptops we're so often attached to (my father recently suggested I just go ahead and get a lanyard for mine). I'll start, and then open the floor, otherwise known as the comments section, to the 'babes. And readers, pl

Happy Earth Day!

One of my new year’s resolutions for this year (whoa—when did it become April?!?!) is to try to be more green—look into ways to conserve energy, even on a small level. I grew up in a house that was very big into recycling, and it’s something I continue to do each day. And while I have to drive to the SB office every day, I’m attempting to slow down (attempting is the key word) in my fuel efficient vehicle. However, publishing is still very much a “paper-based” business. More and more, many of our processes are turning to virtual and online modes, but sometimes, when I look at the amount of paper I work with everyday, it’s unsettling! One thing that Sourcebooks is doing, though, is publishing books on how to be green. We’ve had two come out in the past year: Green Chic and The Green Bride Guide , very cool, fun and PRACTICAL books on going green. They cover all budgets, all lifestyles, are super cute and even better—they’re printed on 100% recycled paper! Something that seems to be

ARC and a Good Cause

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy As some of you know, I am a type 2 diabetic (also called adult onset or insulin resistant diabetes), but my best friend of over 20 years is a type 1 (usually called Juvenile diabetes) and a very special one at that. She was diagnosed with diabetes when she was only two years old, and is one of only about 1,000 people in the USA who has lived with diabetes over forty years! Five years ago, shortly after her young son was diagnosed with diabetes, best selling author Brenda Novak started an online auction to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Association to do research for a cure for this devastating medical condition. Every year, Brenda's online auction has grown. So far, her auction has earned a half a million dollars for diabetes research! This year Brenda and her supporters would love to set a new record. People donate hundreds of items of every sort. There are things of interest to readers, writers, and everybody. Everything from

They're Playing Our Song

By: Marie Force I love music. I love the power of music. I love the way a certain song can set just the right mood whether it's in real life, a movie, or a book. Music plays a role in every book I've ever written. In "Line of Scrimmage," Ryan played the guitar and used music to woo his wife, to remind her of what they'd once had and to show her what they could have again. In "Love at First Flight," Michael plays the song "When You Say Nothing At All" to show Juliana what he's feeling at a critical point in the book. In another of my as-yet unpublished books, the hero lip-sings to "The Way You Look Tonight" after he first makes love to the heroine, letting her know in his own way that he'll never forget her or that moment. "Tupelo Honey" by Van Morrison inspired an entire book, which took shape from start to finish in my mind over the course of a single playing of the song. Because of copyright laws, we can't in

Spring Unawares

Though I long for Spring, it always catches me off guard--as if I didn't know it would come or that it would be like this. As always, I exclaim, "The dogwoods are the loveliest they've been in years." They are hard to photograph since the tiniest breeze flutters their petals. Here is a "pink" called Comanche Red. But the prettiest ones, the ones that make older neighborhoods look like the yards have been decorated with lace, are the whites. It is the nature of things that they will be gone soon. This fragile moment makes me think of fairies, and elves and mysterious worlds where creatures dance on air and dine on enchantment. Instead of writing, I gaze out the window enraptured, bemused by beauty. This fragile moment I offer you. Are you sensitive to a season? Is there a time of year that feeds your soul?

Why I Love Writing Science Fiction

By Cheryl Brooks Some of you may have seen this new cover on my blog or Wickedly Romantic , but unless you've looked closely at the sidebar lately, most of you probably haven't seen this one. So, allow me to officially present the cover of Fugitive , book 5 of The Cat Star Chronicles. I absolutely love it! Perhaps the most fun thing about writing science fiction romance is that the romance can take any form you like. Societies on different worlds can have any kind of taboo or requirement I choose to give them. The entire culture can revolve around the style of dress, or certain patterns of sexual behavior, which is what I did in Slave . The settings can be anything I like, too. I set Warrior on a planet whose inhabitants colonized it with the intention of returning to an earlier era of non-mechanization in an effort to live more in harmony with nature. The society later reverted to a patriarchal form of feudalism, which allowed me the freedom to write a "historical&quo

Rambles with Sharon

It is nearly 11am on Thursday, some 12 hours before my blog day and I am staring at the blank page with….. nothing. I didn’t forget my blog day was approaching. I had it marked on the calendar and have been thinking about it on some level since I posted the last one some two weeks ago. I think I have reached blog-idea-vacancy. Please tell me I am not alone! I am fairly certain it isn’t because I am tired of talking about my novel – no, I know that isn’t true because just yesterday I got all giddy while chatting with a friend. So it must be something else. Hmm…. Brain overload? Exhaustion? A dearth of profound methods of communicating essentially the same thing, i.e.- my novel is fantastic so BUY IT! LOL! Ah well, whatever the case, buckle your seatbelts because I feel a rambling discourse coming on. Here goes! I love writing a Saga with a thematic tone. I see from what most of my Casa Sisters write that we tend to agree on that. Judi has her mermaids and mermen. Terry keeps us wildly

Finding the Balance: Love, Sex and Mystery in Romance Novels

I am a romance writer . I am a mystery writer. The two sides of me have been battling for years and finally had it out, once and for all, when I was planning Lady Anne series. Which would win? Well, oddly enough, they decided to share a series, and the end result was Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark , Book 1 of the Lady Anne series, now available. I wondered from the outset whether I was taking a chance. Would romance readers embrace the mystery elements that are a strong thread in the series? Would mystery readers get impatient with the strong romantic undertones? Would paranormal fans be put off by the rationality of my heroine? Would readers of historical romance be offended by the gothic and paranormal touches that enliven the novels? In other words, was I trying to be too many things to too many people? I threw caution to the wind because ultimately, I came back to the central core of my beliefs about writing. I’m your average reader, in a lot of ways. As long as I write wha

What a Character!

Characters have to have sympathy! Don't they? Look at this guy. Doesn't he look forlorn? Wouldn't you like to give him a big fat hug? Sure you would! Because he's got our sympathy. And heck, he's rather sexy too, don't you think? But how do we get sympathy? Not just from a look, but from backstory. And how do we add backstory without it being backstory? That's the trick! Crisis time! I've been working full steam ahead on Legend of the White Wolf rewrites (and that's why I'm behind on everything else--deadline Mon), dealing with my mother's death, taxes, just got an order for 3 bears, huh? No other time this year, but they have to come now? :) Yep, keep upping the conflict, ladies and gents. My daughter says it wouldn't happen like this if I couldn't handle it. Isn't it nice to have such a wise daughter? In Destiny of the Wolf , my hero is maudlin over the death of his mate. But then he learns...she wasn't supposed to

Las Vegas Baby!

“You get the book?” Puff asked, practically bouncing up and down with excitement. “Yeah, but it wasn’t easy.” Fluff wiggled his nose and a yellow and black large paperbound book dropped in front of him. “Las Vegas for Bunnies,” they read the title in unison, awe in their voices. “You really think she’s going to let us go?” Fluff tipped an ear toward the book so the pages would move. “Sure, she will. Jazz wouldn’t take us, but Linda will.” Puff practically buried his nose in one page. “Wow, look at all these games they play. Even craps.” His dark eyes sparkled with mischief. Fluff read along with him. “Uh, Puff, that’s not the kind of crap you’re thinking of.” “What’re you doing?” Horace ambled over to look over their fuzzy shoulders. “Linda’s going to Las Vegas and we’re going to ask her to take us with her. We want to be prepared for anything,” Fluff replied. The gargoyle plopped down next to them and began reading. “Craps!” “Not that kind of craps,” the bunny slippers told

Buying Books

Just two weeks and five days until Fire Me! is released and as each day goes by, I get more excited. This isn't my first book, but it sure feels that way, maybe because I am so invested in the book's characters and plot. Not that I wasn't invested in my other books (I write teen mysteries, too), but Fire Me! was percolating in my mind for quite awhile. Having it come alive on the page and then in print has a dream-come-true quality to it. Like Beth Cornelison, I am thrilled with my book's cover and have to give a big shout-out to Sourcebooks' art team. This cover has to rank as my all-time favorite of my books, capturing the look and attitude of the heroine, Anne Wyatt, and the dreamy, zany tone of the book itself. Some early reviews are coming in and I'm pleased as punch about them. Eye on Romance web site says Fire Me's characters and situations are "hilarious" and "inspired," and the book itself "provides a tongue-in-cheek loo

The Thrill of Cover Art

First, let me say Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Happy Spring! I love the renewal of nature each spring (despite the pollen's attack on my allergies!) In other news...I know other authors have used this blog to discuss their experiences with seeing their cover art for the first time. But I hope you'll indulge me as I croon, because last weekend, I saw the preliminary cover for my September release, HEALING LUKE. It's beautiful! I know every parent says their baby is beautiful, but to be honest, I've had covers in the past that left me cold. Not so with HEALING LUKE. The artists at Sourcebooks found beach scenes that set a poignant and romantic mood while still featuring their trademark hunk chest (although Luke's is less prominent, and you'll understand why once you've read the book.) It is hard to put into words how it feels to see for the first time the cover art for a book whose characters, plot and setting you created, lived with, cried and sweated

Google Likes Me

Romantic Times Magazine contacted me recently about doing a blurb for their Web Forum page (to be in the June issue) about what my favorite websites are, as an author or personally. I had to think about it because I do a lot of cyber-surfing. But one that was incredibly useful for writing In Over Her Head (and the others), is Google Earth. Not a website as much as a web program (and I'm not a tekkie, so please excuse me if I call it by the wrong name), I can get lost in it for hours. And when I started doing the logistics for In Over Her Head (i.e., where is Reel watching from while Erica's getting forced into the ocean at gunpoint, or where can his lair be after she gets shot, etc.) I did spend hours on it. There is absolutely NOTHING in the North Atlantic ocean floor between the east coast of New Jersey and Bermuda. Flat seabed. Talk about frustrating because it's too many miles to swim to Bermuda. (Why Bermuda? Ah, well, you'll have to read the story to find out

British Heroes for an American Girl!

Hello Casa authors and fans! I’m delighted to be on this fabulous blog today with all of the wonderful writers who make up this site. Thank you, ladies for allowing me to share with you the excitement I have for my latest book A Duke To Die For. Some of you might think I’m a new author, but I’ve been around for a few years. I’ve written as Gloria Dale Skinner and Charla Cameron but with my nineteenth published book out this April, I think I’ve finally settled down to being only Amelia Grey. You know, I’ve been a fan of all things British since I was in grade school and the Bealtles and Rolling Stones took America by storm. I love their accents, their stately mansions and their leather berets. It’s no wonder that writing in Regency London fits me perfectly. That doesn’t mean I won’t stay up all night reading when I find a good book about a cowboy in a white shirt with a leather holster slung around lean hips. And I can really get into a story that has a hero who wears his jeans j

Is It Spring Yet?

By Robin Kaye The kids are on Spring Break, the daffodils are blooming, and it’s snowing. Okay, it’s not snowing today, but it was yesterday. Here in Maryland (and Central Pennsylvania) it flurried on and off all day. There is just something so wrong about snow-covered daffodils in April. Just when I was contemplating storing all my sweaters away in my antique cedar trunk, the temperature dropped and I was frozen again. And to add insult to injury, I had to drive through what looked like a blizzard. Of course, as soon as the snow hit the windshield or the ground it melted. Still, the snow was coming down in those big, honkin’ flurries—the kind that make you want to run around with your tongue hanging out to try to catch them. If it hadn’t been almost Mid-April, I would have enjoyed it. I suppose the changing of the seasons has me on edge, and for a few weeks, I’ll be wondering if I’m experiencing spring or if winter has returned. There are seasons to everything and they all change

Lookin' For Love

So this is a picture from my vacation. Yeah, yeah, so it's the "online surfing" portion of my vacation. Who said my brain didn't get to have a Spring Break too? And anyway, it's Wednesday, and everyone can use a little Fabio to get them through the rest of the week:-) Anyway... I really am on vacation with the kids in North Carolina right now and trying to keep my computer time light so I can actually enjoy the week off, but my mom and I were having a discussion about romance this afternoon: what we liked in books, didn't like, etc. I can see that I probably picked up Marie's cosmic vibes or something, because she talked about one side of that equation on Sunday with her pet peeves (and IMO, they were pretty spot on). So today, I thought I'd mention a few of the things that draw both me AND my mom, who I've mentioned is an avid reader and by the way has a TON of books here I want to read, to pick up and enjoy a romance novel. They're th

What's a Romance Author to do?

By Danielle Jackson Many of you know that I started a Twitter account (and yes I know there are sparse updates…this post will explain why, kind of). We have this blog ; the paranormal authors have their blog. Many of you have Facebook and/or MySpace accounts, websites, your own personal blogs, etc. More and more book sections of newspapers are mov ing to the web. The book reviewing blog community grows by the day. More and more, marketing and publicity efforts (and not just for books!) are turning to the internet. As I’ve explained time and time again, this is the cheapest and best way to have direct contact with readers is through the web. A bunch of the sites I send your books receive thousands of hits a month (some, in a week). We do a lot of outreach and work to find those readers who don’t know they like your work yet! It sounds like a lot to have to keep up with right? I actually had a conversation a couple of weekends ago with a friend who has a job that len