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Showing posts from August, 2009

3 -- 2 -- 1 -- PARTAY!

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy HOORAY! The big day is here at last! Time to celebrate the "OFFICIAL" Launch of The Treasures of Venice ! So break out the cyber-bubbly, bring on the hunky cover models and turn the music up REALLY LOUD! Here's the back cover copy to whet your appetite: He's a charming Irish rogue who never met a lock he couldn't pick... Keirnan Fitzgerald is desperate to locate the missing Jewels of the Madonna. With danger at every corner and time running out, he must use whatever means possible to to uncover the stolen jewels in time to save his sister's life... She's simply in Venice to relax and heal her broken heart... Samantha Lewis is shocked when a dashing stranger approaches her in a Venetian cafe, pretending to know her. She's ready for something new and exciting in her life, so she throws caution to the wind and accompanies the Irish charmer into his dangerous world of intrigue, theft, and betrayal... As the centur

The Power of Distraction

The Power of Distraction No sooner had I decided what to write about and typed the caption, than I got distracted. I was thirsty and needed a cool beverage to sip as I wrote my article. Downstairs in the refrigerator, I discovered the pork chops I had intended to marinade for dinner still in the wrapping, sans marinade. So I whipped up my famous homemade marinade and got them started. [One package of Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing mix; ¼ cup of olive oil; ¼ cup brown sugar; ¼ cup red wine vinegar; a teaspoon of thyme; half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper; ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp allspice and a pinch of salt.] In case you were thinking of asking, which would only distract you from reading the rest of this informative article. Then my hands needed washing, so I proceeded to the sink. In the sink, I discovered the dirty dishes from lunch. So I did the dishes and went back to the fridge for my tasty beverage. By the time I had it ready, I thought about how nice it would be to have a few m

"Loving Mr. Darcy" Launch in 3 DAYS!!!

On September 1 my second novel will be officially released! Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley continues on where the first novel – Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One – ended. And, in just 4 months the third book in the series will be out. What a year this has been! My head is spinning and I can’t quite wrap my mind around the fact that I am now a multi-published author. Surreal. I am very excited about this book and where I have taken the Darcys. It is a larger novel than the first, both in page number and content. The Darcys travel all over England, socialize with dozens of friends, deal with trials, and explore historical places, all while growing deeper in their love and anticipating the birth of their first child. Look for both novels at major bookstores and online sellers. It will be in Target (along with my first novel that is still there) in October. Naturally you can click over to my website to learn more of the specifics, read excerpts and reviews

Fun Friday!

Writing is not a serious business. I mean really, among all the serious professions in the world - nurses, doctors, lawyers, firefighters, police officers, counselors... all the people who save our lives and take care of us day in and day out - writing romance novels for a living rates right up there with acting and finger painting on the serious scale. And thank goodness... we all need to lighten up sometimes. But even for writers, amid deadlines, commitments, real life and all of its turmoil - many of us here at the Casablanca blog have had a difficult year, to say the least - we all need to laugh more, have fun, be goofy, get our jollies. So I am unilaterally declaring today 'Fun Friday'! By the way, did you know that the word 'Friday', in the romance language tradition, is - according to Wikipedia - "The word for Friday in most Romance languages is derived from Latin dies Veneris , 'day of Venus'" Or, some prefer to think of it as from Freya, the

Where the Bad Guys are Werewolves! And the Good Guys are Too!

Five more days and To Tempt the Wolf is OFFICIALLY released!!! Chance at free copy of book for commenting! Extra chances for tweeting, posting this on blogs, and reviews of any of the wolf books! :) So here’s a hint of what you’ll discover beyond the cover of one sexy man and wolf. What do you do when you find the sculpted body of a man lying naked on a winter-chilled beach? Take him home with you, of course! With every intention of nursing the poor half dead guy back to health. But you soon discover he’s extremely protective, a little bossy, sexy as all get-up, and talented. He can cook over an open fire when electricity is a problem. Can keep a body toasty warm on cold wintry nights. Can repair windows. And? Washing his clothes won’t be a chore. He’s out of them almost as much as he’s in them. So he’s a pretty handy guy to have around when: a severe winter storm threatens, stalkers are a problem, the electricity is out, ex-boyfriends come around, car accidents happen, and a family m


By Deb Werksman I recently added another criterion to my romance fiction submission guidelines (you can see them in detail here: ). Now, in addition to looking for: a heroine the reader can relate to a hero she can fall in love with a world gets created a hook I can sell the book with in 2-3 sentences I'm also looking for: The author has a career arc. It has become more and more difficult to acquire just one book. That doesn't mean every contract will be a multi-book deal, but it does mean that I'm looking for authors who have ideas for further books beyond the one being submitted . It takes 3-4 books to build readership, and those books have to come out regularly, whether that be once a year, once a season (2 seasons per year) , three per year, etc. So as you submit your work, please be sure to include the ideas for the next couple of books (even if they're not part of a series) . The better sense I have of how you see yourself gr

Guest Blogger: Samantha Gentry -- Research Can Be Fun

Please welcome my good friend Samantha Gentry! She has many years of writing experience under her belt and always a joy to learn from. Along with writing sizzling hot books! You can find her at My name is Samantha Gentry. My thanks to Linda Wisdom for having me here today with the Casablanca Authors as her guest blogger. For my topic, I'd like to talk about research. There's no denying that research is a part of writing whether non-fiction or fiction. And within the parameters of fiction, the genre somewhat dictates how much research is required. Certainly, historical fiction requires extensive research into place and time in order to be accurate with details down to the simplest clothing items. Techno thrillers, legal thrillers, and medical themed novels need to be accurate in terminology, science, and procedures. But there is an area of research that is often considered trivial or inconsequential in the overall scope of your story. And that's the lo

Coming Out

by Libby Malin In my book Fire Me , Anne Wyatt tries to figure out how to earn a living "doing what she loves," first pursuing a crazy strategy to get herself laid off so she can collect severance pay, all the while struggling with how to merge her artistic background with making money. In my next book, My Own Personal Soap Opera , soap opera head writer Frankie McNally has to come to terms with "loving what she does," that is, writing passionate and sometimes outlandish stories that enthrall millions but don't impress the literati crowd she'd hoped to join when she went to college. Both books share the common thread of young women finding their way in the world, settling into careers -- after they first figure out what career is right for them. Who hasn't been there? Or rather, what writer hasn't been there? Writers, I believe, struggle with both the questions that face my protagonists -- how do I earn money doing what I love, h

Flying High

I'm gearing up for the blog tour for Wild Blue Under which releases November 1, but I'm already working months ahead. That's how it works in this business; something you wrote months ago hits the shelves while you're writing to your next deadline. I'm thrilled to say that I have a next deadline! :) My big news of the week was that I accepted an offer to write another series, this one about genies. Still the same tongue-in-cheek, light-hearted paranormal tone, but think I Dream of Jeannie meets Indiana Jones . I have half of the first story done and I have to say I'm having as much fun with this story as I did with the Mer ones, though it was hard to leave Mariana (Reel, Rod, and Angel's sister) treading water in the South Pacific. She's got her story to tell and I'm working on that one around the contracted stories, so here's hoping there are more underwater tales to come. People ask me where I get my ideas and what happens if I run out. Hopef

Do You Remember Mix-Tapes?

By Robin Kaye I was reading a blog recently and the author mentioned finding a box of his cassette tapes, most of which were mix-tapes. My mind immediately went back to my teenage days when conversations revolved around who liked who, how lame Barry Manilow was, and how hot Jim Morrison looked before he died. Now, he died well before I was into him and the Doors, but still, you have to admit he sure looked hot before he died…well, maybe not just before he died, but you know what I mean. Back then, if I was not making mix-tapes, I was listening to the tapes my boyfriend dejour, best friend, or I made. What about you? Do you remember the hours you spent picking the favorite songs? Wondering what the guy you were crushing on, or a guy you were dating—would think of your hard work. If a guy made me a mix-tape, I knew he was hooked. Why I didn’t think the same rule pertained to me is still a mystery. Making a mix-tape for someone was a big deal. It wasn’t something you made for a casual da

Waste Not, Want Not

Greetings! As I was working on blogs for my blog tour launching HEALING LUKE in September, I saw on the list Danielle sent me "Books and Needlepoint". So I wrote up a blog post tailored for readers who needlepoint... only to realize later that the Books and Needlepoint opportunity was an INTERVIEW. I didn't need a blog post! Well, not wanting waste the effort I'd put into the blog post, I thought I'd share it with you today! :-) So without ado... I'm honored to have the chance to guest blog here and tell you a bit about my book HEALING LUKE. When I first learned of my opportunity to blog here, I wondered what I might have to say that would be of interest to readers who also needlepoint. Sure, way back when I had more free time (as in before children, writing deadlines and part-time jobs), I used to needlepoint. I learned from my grandmother and loved the relaxing rhythm of the needle and yarn. But I could hear you all saying, "So what? We all needlepoint.

Favorite Scenes

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy As readers, we all have certain scenes in books that really "ring true" or for whatever reason, we find especially memorable. Well, as writers we have the same thing... Or maybe I should just speak for myself, I do anyway! Sometimes I know I'm going to LOVE a scene while I'm in the midst of writing it. This was the case when I was writing the scene in The Wild Sight where the heroine, Rylie confronts her biological father for the very first time. Same with one of the scenes in the train station in The Treasures of Venice (I won't say which one, coz ya know it might spoil part of the fun) . Other scenes kinda grow on me, and the more I re-read (and sometimes revise) them, the more fond I get of them. Not long ago, I asked my critique partners and a couple of my beta readers which scenes in The Treasures of Venice were their favorites. My CP and fellow Bandita Jo-Mama picked one where the heroine, Samantha was not buyi

Do you believe in magic?

"Just when I think I don't know where a story is headed, some tiny detail comes back to me, and it takes on a life of its own." If anyone was ever going to quote me on something, that would be the quote I'd like for them to use because it describes my writing process to a T. How often have I given a character a particular skill or talent that I had no particular plans for, but just when I think I've lost my way, I suddenly remember that trait and, voila! the answer pops into my head. It's as though the secret to the saving of the day was there all along, just biding its time, waiting for me to see it. When that happens, the rest of the tale simply clicks into place and all I have to do is write it. That's happened to me several times during the writing of Hero , my current WIP. Sometimes I get stuck and I have to leave it for a few days, but during that time, my brain has been chipping away at the problem so that when I come back to it, the answer is right

Regency Era Places

by Sharon Lathan Studying a past place or era is a challenge to be sure, but also lots of fun. One has to immerse into the atmosphere as much as possible. Luckily for those of us who write in the Regency – that 9 year span of time encompassed by the far longer Georgian Era – we have hundreds of website resources to help us get it right. Everything from the clothing to the language to the lifestyle to the places and more can be found somewhere if you dig far enough. My newest novel, Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley , does as the subtitle implies; that is, takes the reader away from the confines of their honeymoon country Manor house to the broader world of England. My first chore was to tackle learning about London of the day. May sound tough, but it really wasn’t. This city – simply called “Town” - was the European hub for the Industrial Revolution. She was a city on the move, and because of that and so many other realities, life in Town was thrilling. And it was wonder

Singer Songwriters

I don't know if it is true of anyone else, but I find that sometimes songwriters manage to write a wonderful story, all in the confines of a three or four minute song. It's a remarkable ability, and one I admire. Pair the song with a memorable tune, and you've got a winner that will remain in the common memory long after the artist is gone. I was reminded of that this last weekend since I was posting on my own blog about the fortieth anniversary of Woodstock (no, I was not there, my mommy would not have let me go even if I was aware of such a thing... LOL) and posted Matthews Southern Comfort Band's rendition of Joni Mitchell's classic ' Woodstock '. The last verse goes: By the time we got to Woodstock/We were half a million strong/And everywhere there was song and celebration And I dreamed I saw the bombers/Riding shotgun in the sky/And they were turning into butterflies/Above our nation We are stardust/Billion year old carbon/We are golden/Caught in the de

Researching Romance

And the winner is!!! Rebecca Vickery! Of one bouncing newly minted book: To Tempt the Wolf ! Thanks to everyone who came by and commented!!! But don't despair if you didn't win! Today I'm at Star Crossed Romance with a 2 book giveaway! Review of To Tempt the Wolf by Lynda Scott "Ms Spear has created a fast, adventurous novel full of sexy romance. The chemistry between Hunter and Tessa is apparent right from their first encounter even though both try to fight it. That's something we've come to expect from a writer of Ms Spear's caliber. She has a deft hand creating very human, very sensual characters that step right off the page." To Tempt the Wolf ~~First Contest! Comment and have a chance to win a free copy of the book!!! I just received my books so it's time to celebrate!!! Here's the cover for Sed

The Importance of Writers Meetings

I'll be attending my RWA chapter meeting today because 1, I wanted to be there to support friends who were speaking and 2, because it’s one of my few purely social days. Writers tend to be introverts. After all, we’re chained to our computers weaving spells and creating characters our readers love and it’s not a group effort. Just our ten fingers doing the job. The best thing about being there is that I’m with people who understand me. Who understand what I go through when I’m stuck in a scene or when that line just sings when I write it or even when I’m afraid I could be out there muttering “you want fries with that?” because we all have the same fears. That’s a writer’s lot in life. We’re supposed to worry, but maybe that’s a good thing because it keeps us sharp. Keeps us focused on what we’re doing and making sure it all falls into place. That’s why I enjoy going to the monthly meetings. Because the people there get me and I get them and while I’m there I don’t feel as much an i

Stealing the Words Out of Your Mouth

By Libby Malin When a dear friend commented to me that she was reading my book, Fire Me, two emotions immediately coursed through me in quick succession -- joy and panic. Joy because I was delighted someone I loved was going to read the book. Panic because I couldn't remember if anything in the book drew on any experiences I'd had with this friend! Don't get me wrong -- I'd never reproduce any real life experience in a novel in a malicious way. But most writers do end up drawing on real life experiences as a springboard at least for the imaginary tales they tell. I'm one of those writers. An overheard conversation, an observation about an attitude, an experience that's odd, funny, or poignant -- any of these could find its way into one of my books. It's not that I transcribe real life conversations verbatim. But if they stick in my head for some reason, I might pull them forward when just the kind of mood or temperament they typify is ca

He's Baaaack!

Hey, Chumley Masticar here. Miss me? I’ve been on an extended publicity tour, if you must know. The Caribbean, West Indies, a spin around the Cape… all in the effort to spread the word about my story, In Over Her Head . Oh, yeah, I get that it’s got a guy and a girl and they fall in love and whatever, but you know? None of it would have been possible without me. I give you these examples: Who suggested Reel save Erica’s life? That would be me. And who told him how? Also me. Who did Reel send on the reconnaissance mission? He didn’t go. Oh, no. He sent ME. Who did he direct to keep Puff Daddy busy so he could clue Erica in to all they’d be facing when facing The Council? Again, me. Who had his back when ol’ Nigel got a hook in his craw about Reel turning Erica? Right again. That would be moi. And the list goes on. So I have my public. Adoring fins all over the globe have tread in line for tides for my autograph, women tossing their shell phone numbers at me, fish fry flipping like they
By Robin Kaye In my next book, Breakfast in Bed , Rich Ronaldi really can’t cook. He’s never been allowed in his mother’s kitchen. He doesn’t know what a pyrex pan is. He’s never been taught how to do dishes. He never set a table. The man is spoiled, sure, but he was also deprived an education in life 101. His mother thinks nothing of it. Rich is the prince, after all. If food isn’t microwavable, Rich is afraid to touch it. When he realizes the only way to be an equal partner in a relationship is to be able to put something more on the table than microwaved coffee, he finds a Domestic God Coach to teach him to cook and clean. I had such fun writing about Rich’s adventures in the kitchen and every other room in the apartment. And believe me, they were adventures! When I was coming up with the story for Breakfast in Bed, I thought long and hard about people who say they can’t cook. I’ve always been amazed by seemingly intelligent people who say they can’t cook. I mean, really, how hard i

Erotica vs. erotic romance

Today I'm going to give you my take on the difference between erotica and erotic romance. Is there a difference? Heck, yeah! I've been writing (and publishing) hot, steamy romances since 2004, so consider me informed. Please feel free to agree or disagree! Do you think there's a difference? Erotica vs. erotic romance: I really think the difference between erotica vs. erotic romance needs to be explained. To me, romance in the name defines the story as a love it between male and female; male and male; female, male and male; werewolf, vampire and stripper or what have you. Erotica is a sex story in which sex is the goal and motivation and there need be no conflict unless they disagree on positions. Confusion is what keeps us from being recognized as a romance genre. This is what conservative judges "see" when they read graphic language even though some national bestsellers, use it. And you should know that "pure" erotica (pardon the oxymoron) v

That mysterious thing called Voice

I've been thinking a good bit about the concept of a writer's voice lately. Finding and honing your personal voice is so important, and yet explaining voice is so hard to do. Then I thought of this analogy...maybe it will help people understand voice (or my interpretation at least). Think of all the people you meet every day. Neighbors, co-workers, family, grocery store clerks, waitresses, friends of friends, people in line with you at Starbucks. Most of the people you know or meet are nice people, decent, upstanding, law-abiding citizens with pleasant personalities. They form a sort of homogenous average. These people are the average submission to an editor or the average book on the shelf. They are good books. Technically clean, well-thought out, interesting enough to keep your attention. But... sigh. No real spark. Nothing that makes them really pop and stand out. Nothing that makes them mocha chocolate chip instead of just vanilla. There is nothing wrong with these books.