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Showing posts from November, 2009


posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy Everyone knows what happens in the aftermath of Thanksgiving dinner -- LEFT-OVERS ! Some writers have left-overs too. You know, those scenes or partial scenes that get excised somewhere between the first draft and final version? Instead of merely hitting "delete" many writers keep those tidbits in a separate file. Like the out-takes section on a film DVD, writers post deleted material on their websites, blogs or newsletters. In fact, when I started this post, I planned to include of few of my own "left-overs." But then I realized I don't have any! Oh don't get me wrong, I cut PLENTY of words in the course of my writing and re-writing. I even keep hunks of it around, but in the true spirit of left-overs, most of it gets used somewhere else in my story. Unlike my too, too fleshy self, my writing tends to be spare and lean. During revisions I'm much more likely to add scenes rather than trim them. I gobble up all

Sexy Christmas Greetings!

Making up stories is half the fun of writing them! And I'm not ashamed to say I write sexy werewolf sagas and love to dig up pictures of sexy werewolf men--yes, he truly is a wolf in disguise, how else do you think he got tangled up in the Christmas lights while he was helping me set up the Christmas tree? So here is the story: You know humans can howl like wolves, or at least to their own ears, but did you know that wolves actually will come to them? I needed a little help untangling Christmas lights. Don't we all? I think, other than trying to locate the rest of the tree branches and the top of the tree, that's what is most time-consuming, and unless you have a lot of time and lots more patience, the most exasperating. Unless of course you're imbibing in Christmas cheer. And then your lights could become even more tangled. Or, you might skip them all together. But what are Christmas decorations without a few sparkly lights? The next best thing is to call for help. I&

Time for a Barbecue

He'd told her not to go into the canyon by herself! But did she listen? No! The damn woman would be the death of him yet. As he neared the edge of the ledge he heard sounds that he knew he'd still remember to his dying day. He slowly peered over the edge and found what he had hoped was legend instead of fact. The fact was like something out of nightmare. Megan's back was pressed against the canyon wall while four ungodly creatures fanned out in a semicircle, cutting off any hope of escape. Ugly didn't even begin to describe what he saw. From this high up he could only hazard a guess as to size, but they couldn't be more than five feet tall to Megan's 5'6". Under the moonlit sky, the coarse fur on their scrawny bow-backed bodies appeared to be a silvery black and their rough-skinned faces looked like a mutant abomination you'd see in a zoo of horrors. Nothing nastier than chupacabras. What worried him the most was the razor-sharp claws they extended

Fluff and Puff Take on Black Friday

“Why couldn’t we stay home?” Puff whined from his spot in Jazz’s Marc Jacobs pink leather tote, as she wove her way through the hordes of people that pushed around Jazz. “Because you might come in handy.” Jazz had the grim determination you only saw one day a year. The day after Thanksgiving when serious shoppers came out to do their holiday shopping. She was there armed with credit cards, ready to do what it took to get all her shopping out of the way. Fluff’s ears curved over the top of the bag, then his eyes peeped over, widening at the mob around them. “I’m going back to the car.” Jazz tightened her hold on the bag. “No, you’re not.” She pushed her way into Nordstrom on the quest for the perfect gifts. It wasn’t long before she found a leather jacket for Nick, an even cuter leather jacket for herself, sweaters for Stasi and Blair, a wrap for Thea and she was still going strong. “I want a pretzel,” Puff demanded. “Later.” Jazz’s gaze narrowed as she spied a plum silk top across the


The CasaBabes are taking the day off so that those of us here in the States can enjoy the holiday with our families. HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all our readers who celebrate today. And HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all our readers! All of us here on the Casablanca Authors blog are truly THANKFUL for ALL OF YOU!

On being thankful....

There are many things in this world I am thankful for. I have a wonderful, loving husband, healthy children, terrific friends, a comfortable home, and a good job. My tastes and needs are pretty simple, though, so, on the whole, it doesn't take much to keep me satisfied. There were times I couldn't say that, but it's different now. When asked what I want for Christmas these days, I'm hard-pressed to come up with a reply. Back when I was getting into the horse business, there was always something I wanted--a new saddle or other barn item. I would pick up a horse supply catalog and go through it, marking pages and circling items and then hand it to my DH who was very pleased to have a list to follow. This year, I circled a few items that need replacing, but there isn't anything I'll be excited about, and most are things I could just as easily have bought for myself. That's the problem with material things; all you need is the money to pay for them, and if I hav

How We Find The Books We Publish

posted by Deb Werksman (The following numbers are one season from one editor--probably not statistically significant, but interesting nonetheless) Out of curiosity, and because we love data so much, I decided to take a look at one season of my list and analyze how we had found the books we acquired to publish for that season. There are 36 fiction titles on my list in that season. 11 of these came to us through submissions from agents 10 were submitted directly by the author Of this 10 *2 of the authors had an agent already *3 signed an agent after we made our offer 15 are books that we pursued by contacting the agent or author ourselves Of this 15: *3 who were unagented when we approached them, signed an agent after we made our offer Of all 36 books on the list, 4 had been previously self-published with sales of about 1000 copies or more. They were available from on-line retailers as well as by ordering from the major book retailers. I receive 200-250 submissi

Cleaning Up My Act

by Libby Malin So it came to this -- I cleaned my office. I can hardly believe it. No stacks of stuff sitting around the floor. No piles of papers waiting to be shredded. I can actually see the surface of my desk. I'm lucky enough to have a home office, a room on the second floor of our house that overlooks our back yard. In the spring and summer, I get to watch as robins, finches, and blue jays cavort at the bird bath (those robins are territorial, let me tell ya) while I write. While the landscape outside is pastoral, for a long time the scene inside has resembled the aftermath of a natural disaster. My office is small, with just enough room to fit a desk and table comfortably (and a cot when our house explodes with guests at holiday visits). It used to hold a gigantic filing cabinet, but that's gone due to my cleaning purge. For a long time (too long to admit to!), I put off this cleaning project. I'm one of those people who can write in the midst of


By Robin Kaye I’ve been an avid collector of two things for as long as I can remember—Books and music. I’ve kept them with me all my life though seven states, and 35+ moves. When I was younger, I could name every move, in order, and I could have given you the street address too. I’m not sure I’d be able to remember my every move now, but when an old song comes on the radio, or the iPod, I can tell you where I lived when it was popular. It’s the same with books. I know I lived in Mount Laurel, NJ the year Elton John’s Philadelphia Freedom was all the rage and read Judy Blume’s Forever and Louis Nizer’s Reflections Without Mirrors. I lived in Reston, VA when a friend of my mother’s let me hang out at her apartment and read her prized collection of Wizard Of Oz books in exchange for walking her dog every day after school. That was the same year the songs Wildfire and Shannon brought tears to my eyes along with the book, Watership Downs. I read JRR Tolkein’s The Hobbit and Jeffrey Archer’s

What Are You Thankful For?

The holidays are coming, the holidays are coming! Um… yay ? The moment Halloween ends, we get inundated with Christmas. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. I love December. I love the whole deck-the-halls thing. Peace and goodwill. December, for all the holiday-shopping craziness, always seems like a “soft” month to me: mittens and scarves, hugs, warm hot chocolate, snow… Back in the day, (i.e. the Dark Ages) we used to have snow all winter. I could make snowmen in December. The nights got dark early. It was cold, and we all cuddled up in our down jackets that made us look like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man or the Micheline Man. Remember the plastic bread bags we put over our socks before putting on our boots to go out in the snow—which ensured you’d end up with frostbite from all the sweating your feet did in them. That scene in A Christmas Story where Ralphy can barely walk for all the “huddled up”-ness cracks me up. That was the December of my childhood and I loved i

Interview With Keirnan Fitzgerald

Sorry to report that I've been sicker than the proverbial dog all week. Too sick to even write a new blog post (which proves I really AM SICK!). So apologies to those of you who may have already read this, but I'm reposting some interview questions with Keirnan Fitzgerald, the hero of my latest release, The Treasures of Venice . My critique partners, friends, and thus far the readers and reviewers have been very enthusiastic about this charming Irish rogue. They’ve all expressed interest in learning a bit more about him and I thought the readers here might like to know too. (Special thanks to my critique partners Cathy D. and Jo-Mama who helped with some of the questions.) Hello Keirnan, you have a somewhat unusual name. Is it a family name? As a matter of fact, it is. I was named for both my grandfathers, Keirnan Fitzgerald and Sean Farley. My sister was also named for our grandmothers, Kathleen Mary, so I guess you could say it’s a family tradition. In the stor

When you wish upon a star...

I recently had one of my dreams come true. I had wished that some day I might receive a starred review from Publishers Weekly. As many writers know, it’s an honor just to get reviewed by Publishers Weekly. Receiving a starred review is just…unbelievable. So needless to say, when my fabulous publicist at Sourcebooks, Danielle, emailed me to tell me that My Unfair Lady received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, my first response was to email her back and ask, “Are you sure?” (Can you blame me?) Danielle assured me it was a starred review, and even sent me the link, in case my dazzled mind still couldn’t grasp the truth of it. My Unfair Lady Kathryne Kennedy. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $6.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4022-2990-9 Kennedy (Beneath the Thirteen Moons) delivers a delightfully unusual Victorian romance. Unlike other American heiresses mingling with London society, Arizona railroad heiress Summer Wine Lee isn

A marketing statistic

When I was taking a management course, I learned an interesting statistic. If you make a customer happy, they'll tell one person. if you anger a customer, they'll tell twelve. That was twenty years ago. These days with all the social networks, in a matter of moments a disgruntled customer could tell thousands! What does that mean to authors? To put it succinctly, be nice to your customers...the readers and fans. Since fellow authors are often avid readers, I'd put them on your list also. I read something on a professional authors' loop recently (like an hour ago) that got me so riled up, I was tempted to tell a dozen people not to buy this woman's books. Of course, I wouldn't twitter it, but I could always secretly hope one of those dozen people would! (evil laugh) Instead, I'm taking deep breaths and trying to rise above the temptation. I don't want to sink to that level. And if you believe in Karma (which I do) I won't need to do a thing. Chances a

True Tale of Thanksgiving on Prince Edward Island

While she was at finishing school, the Duke of Argyle's daughter ran off with the commoner MacNeill, who according to oral tradition, worked for the duke himself. The duke offered to give Malcolm MacNeill land to support his daughter as much as he could walk off in a day's time, but Malcolm was too proud. He paid for passage to the Carolinas where some of his family had settled, but the captain of the ship took the Scots to Prince Edward Island instead against their will. The story goes that Capt. MacDonald's brother was given land in PEI by the king of England for services rendered and was told he had to have it populated or he'd lose it. No one wanted to go there, but their father was a minister and talked several of his flock into leaving Campbelton for a better life. Except he didn't say it was in PEI. The people didn't pack tools to build homes, believing they were going to a civilized town in North Carolina. The ship arrived in the unpopulated PEI instead,

Thanksgiving Movies

I love holiday movies. All you have to do is look at my collection to see that and I'll be digging out the holiday films soon. Most don't think too much about Thanksgiving. I did write a romance that ended with a Thanksgiving dinner that wouldn't be easily forgotten and it was a fun book to write. But let's talk movies! I thought about my favorites and went in search for more. Here's what I found. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving When Peppermint Patty and a group of hungry pals show up at Charlie Brown's house expecting food, Charlie Brown is too wishy-washy to refuse. With the help of Linus, Snoopy and Woodstock a very unusual feast is prepared. Avalon The story of several generations of a family, from the arrival of immigrant Sam Krichinsky in the suburb of Baltimore called Avalon, down through his children and grandchildren. The holiday of Thanksgiving plays a crucial role throughout the film. Dutch Dutch Dooley picks up his girlfriend's son from boarding sch


I think I've posted this on every other blog I'm involved with except this one, so here it is! The new cover for Fugitive. So far, it has met with everyone's approval, and I'd like to thank the design department at Sourcebooks for another terrific effort. I've already received one guest blog request for the release which Danielle is adding to my calendar. I've never had a book come out in January before, and it would be nice if it came out in time for Christmas, but after the holidays are over and the long winter sets in is probably a good time to release a book, too. Fugitive is set on Barada Seven, a jungle planet known for its fabulous birds, natives that look like tall orange toads, something called fuuslak juice, and one lone Zetithian male who has been on the run from the Nedwut bounty hunters for the past twenty years. When wildlife artist Drusilla Chevrault visits Barada, she thinks she's only there to paint the waterfowl, but she finds something she

A Big Thanks

by Libby Malin This past week, we celebrated Veterans Day. It has a special meaning for my family this year because one of my kids, my son David, is beginning his career as an Air Force officer. He graduated this past May from th e Penn State ROTC program, and this November his orders have him down in Columbus, Mississippi AFB for the beginning of pilot training. This past summer, he took a trip to Langley where he got a ride in a fighter jet. He described it as a "dream vacation." I'm including some pix of him there, as well as one of him and his sister at a military ball last spring. We're proud of him, and, of course, a bit fearful. But we know he's always, always wanted to fly (and yet I'm afraid of flying!), so we're excited he's getting to pursue his dream. Whenever we attended various ROTC events with him, we always came away with a feeling of immense pride and gratitude. The young men and women who volunteer for military ser

It’s Villain Day at my Favorite Starbucks!

By Robin Kaye I was going to blog about my new book, Breakfast in Bed. However, we’ve had some problems with the book cover and I’ve recently learned that all the books had to be returned to the manufacturer because the foil on the cover would rather stick to people’s hands than to the book. All the books are going to have to be reprinted and as of this moment, we’re not exactly sure when they’re going to hit the stores. Right now, we’re thinking they’ll be a few weeks late, maybe more, but rest assured, Breakfast in Bed will be out by January. So today, when I arrived at my Starbucks, all the baristas were abuzz with excitement. I sat down to write and found out that the day this blog will post, is Dress Up As Your Favorite Villain Day! For those of you who don’t know, I live at a Starbucks. Okay, I don’t actually live there, but I might as well. I drive my daughter to dance every day, and while Twinkle Toes dances four to five hours, I sit at my favorite Starbucks, at my favorite tab

Sourcebooks, Inc Update!

By Danielle Here’s a little rundown of the exciting things happening with Sourcebooks, Inc. as a whole! October and November have been incredibly busy, and we’ve had a lot of fun, so I wanted to share with everyone what our “parent” company has been up to! First of all—we have an updated LOGO! What do you think? I rather like it, think it’s fresh and quite clever: For the romance ladies of Sourcebooks Casablanca, your reprints and future books will now have a lovely lavender lightbulb: As for Sourcebooks Landmark (the Austen sequels, historical fiction, women’s fiction), you get to be a beautiful blue: In some VERY exciting Casa new, our very own Kathryne Kennedy’s My Unfair Lady received a STARRED review from Publishers Weekly—the first for a Casababe since Aunty Cindy’s last year for The Wild Sight! Here’s a fab blurb: Full of unexpected period details of cosmetics and hunting, this romance goes against type in a wonderful way. Also, Casababe Robin Kaye’s Romeo, Romeo was featured a

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Memories... and Ideas?

I'm in the middle of my blog tour for Wild Blue Under and this time I had a better idea of what to expect since it's my second book. So when I was writing the blogs, I tried to tie the story or my inspiration or my characters into something that would resonate with people, other than just telling them about the story. Know what my biggest hits have been so far? The posts about the inspiration for the series, which is, basically, the television shows I grew up watching. I even did a "guess that leading man" thing on Wickedly Romantic yesterday. So I won't reiterate it here, but it got me to thinking: television had a big influence on my writing, but so did the movies. JAWS is a given because there's that whole terrified-of-the-ocean thing I gave Erica in In Over Her Head , and Failure to Launch because Matthew McConaughey's character (and fabulous gorgeous-ness) lent itself to Reel, and I loved It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World which contributed to th

Befuddled - or - Plotting my way out of the mud.

Some words just ideally describe your state, and right now, 'befuddled' is mine. My friend, Merriam-Webster, claims that 'befuddle' is an intransitive verb meaning to muddle or stupefy and offers the synonyms 'confuse' and 'perplex'. I nod in agreement. I am confused. I am perplexed. I am muddled and stupefied. I am plotting. To explain; my plotting procedure can best be described with an analogy. Have you ever been out walking and seen a lovely clear field? The temptation to take a walk across it arises in your mind and before you know it, you strike out. At first it's not bad. There are puddles, but you go around them. Then, there is a little muck, but what the hey, you're sturdy! You've been here before, you can do it! And you proceed. But soon, alas, the mud thickens. You look ahead. Looks like a long way across, still, but you look back and it's about as far. Might as well go forward. So you slog on. And the muck thickens, though a f

Lost Keys, CPs and Getting a Clue

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy Everyone knows that yer olde Aunty is NOT a morning person. Anything that happens before 10 a.m. West Coast Time is not something Aunty needs to know (unless, of course, it is a flight to a vacation destination) ! You can imagine Aunty's chagrin when recently she was awakened from dreamland at 8:30 by someone pounding on the front door. NOBODY pounds on my door. First, they must brave Aunty's stalwart protectors the Pug-wa-wa and the Yorkie Unholy Terrier. Should they happen to arrive when said obstacles are not in attendance, they will receive Aunty's Nasty Lecture Number 23B which references the "No Solicitors" sign in plain view on the front gate, IF Aunty deigns to answer at all. But the other morning at the ungodly hour of 8:30 a.m. someone dared my canine security squad (who were barking like the hounds of Hades) to knock... LOUDLY! Figuring it must be something dire, I crawled out of bed, stumbled to the door