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Showing posts from June, 2010

Ta-ta for now!

by Libby Malin Sternberg Well, ladies, the time has come . . . to bid you all adieu. As many of you know, I am dropping off the Casablanca Authors blog. I don't have another book coming out with Sourcebooks in the near future, so I'm going to exit stage right, leaving the spotlight to the many other wonderful authors who have lots to share with Casablanca book readers. I've had a blast being in your company and wish you all well! I've summarized in a previous post what my future holds. But here's a quick recap for those who've missed it: I have a historical women's fiction novel being released in the fall. Titled Sloane Hall (and written as Libby Sternberg, my married name), this book tells the tale of a chauffeur who falls in love with his Hollywood starlet employer just as she's about to make her first talking picture. Just when he thinks she's returning his affection, his heart is broken by s

Camping Mama

by Amanda Forester Some of my favorite memories as a kid are the many times we went camping as a family. It was great fun! I remember playing in lakes, swimming in ice cold glacier water, or catching frogs in muddy ponds. Sleeping in a tent outside was always a thrill (except for the time we forgot the rain fly and it started to pour in the middle of the night and the tent filled up with water). Camping food is the best too. Somehow anything cooked over an open flame is delicious! Hot dogs roasted over the fire, “dirty” eggs in the morning, and of course s’mores at night. My brother and I had different strategies for roasting marshmallows. He would carefully roast his over red coals until each side was golden brown. I was too impatient and would plunge mine into the fire until it burst into flame. I’d wait a few second for the flames to melt the insides, then blow it out and eat the charred thing. With chocolate and graham cracker I swear the black ashen husk of the marshmallow was b

'Tis The Season

No, I have not been afflicted with brain-melt due to the San Joaquin Valley heat and projected my mind forward 6 months in a desperate attempt to cool down! I know it is summertime and that is our theme. But for me, since I do live a good portion of my time in a world 200 years in the past, I began thinking about what summertime meant for the English elite of the Regency Era. And that boils down to one common phrase: The Season . The English custom of the elite in society passing months in London rather than their country homes began somewhere in the 17th century and continued to dominate the culture until well after WWI. Roughly coinciding with the sitting of Parliament, the official Season launched in earnest after Easter and ran until August when Parliament adjourned. The purpose was originally a time for the aristocracy and landed gentry to gather in Town to discuss politics and workings of State, but quickly evolved into a period of socialization and entertainment. Events such a

Summer Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Shall I compare th ee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate – William Shakespeare Hmm. I'm not quite sure the bard was a fan of summer considering that quote. I was surprised when the subject of summer pursuits came up in my critique group the other day. Well, not surprised by the topic , since I brought it up, knowing I needed to write a “summer” themed blog soon. No, I was surprised by the range of emotions this particular season seemed to evoke amongst our members. So I thought I’d share som e of those thoughts with you today. For starters, Heather Boyd lives in Au stralia. So for her, summertime activities include drinking ginger beer and celebrating Christmas . I have to give her credit, that was not the sort of summer fun I was expecting to hear. But as realtors always say – Location, location, location. Her best summer memory is something I don’t imagine I’ll ever get the opportunity to see. Her parents were driving across Australia and she’d falle

An Exciting Time of Year!

By Robin Kaye Summer is always an exciting time of year. This summer especially because I just sold a new series to Sourcebooks – The Domestic Gods Gone Wild! Series. You’ll get to meet the heroes and heroines in my next book, Yours For the Taking . It will be released in January. If signing my new contract wasn’t exciting enough, the same day I signed on the dotted line, I received a phone call telling me that my book Too Hot to Handle won the Holt Medallion for Best Romantic Comedy! The thing I love most about the Holt Medallion is that it is judged by readers, the very people I write for, not the publishing elite. I’m completely over-the-top because Romeo, Romeo won last year too, so this year’s win completely shatters my concern that it was all a big fluke. Well, almost. The Romance Writers of America’s National Conference takes place every July. This is something I look forward to all year. For those who don’t know me, I’m a bit of an extrovert. (okay, you in the peanut gal

Summer is for Concerts!

When I think of summer, I think of concerts. It seems like every summer, I’d go to numerous concerts. I lived in Houston as a teenager, so my friends and I would go see all our favorite groups at Southern Star Amphitheater in Astroworld. Sadly, Astroworld in no longer. It’s just a field on the side of the freeway. The first concert I saw was when I was in sixth grade. I went with my dad to see REO Speedwagon and Cheap Trick. Remember “Can’t Fight This Feeling”? I loved that song, and I’m sure all the other sixth graders did. One of the first concerts I saw without parents was Depeche Mode. That was in 1988. Let me tell you, the guys from DM made an impression. I thought they were the coolest thing ever. I went out the next day (or rather had my mom drive me to the mall) and bought their Black Celebration album on cassette. No CDs back then. I started dressing in all black and listening to bands like The Cure, New Order, and The Smiths. I remember one summer I saw Heart, New Order,


To my complete surprise and delight, I have been named Editor of the Year and Sourcebooks has been named Publisher of the Year by the New York City chapter of RWA. Thank you so, so much for this recognition. I feel very honored. Ok, that was 10 seconds of glory and celebration, now back to work! Last month on this blog I took pitches and had a GREAT time, and I'm going to do it again today! HOWEVER, please read these directions carefully because this month's event is a PITCH CONTEST--you must follow the rules (unlike your heroine, ok?). *I will choose ONE WINNER from the pitches sent to the blog by midnight tonight (Thursday 6/24/10). *The winner will be announced by midnight tomorrow night (Friday 6/25/10). *The PRIZE is--a critique from MOI!!!! The winner will be invited to send me their synopsis and three chapters for a critique and will get their critique within 4 weeks of me receiving their materials. *IF YOU WANT YOUR PITCH CRITIQUED, you should send it to me

Oh shoot! No, don't!

It was my day to blog and I forgot (until just now when I peeked at my other calendar.) Have I mentioned I have a new book out? I have no excuse...except for gobs of promo to announce my first mass market paperback release, whirlwind blog/book signing tour and keeping dates in two different places. I apologize profusly. Okay, so summer is the theme. Is it summer? I've put everything on hold until after June. Which is a bummer since June is probably my favorite month. I like September too, except it heralds the end of summer and I get bummed out. No, really. I think I have a touch of S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder.) I'm such a summer girl that I convinced my husband to take me someplace warm every winter. He knows I need something to look forward to to get me through the lengthening darkness. He can see for himself how much happier and more mobile I am in the sun. This year I signed myself up for the 'Cruise with your Muse' conference in January and I'll

School's Out For Summer!

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy No more pencils, No more books, No more teacher's dirty looks! That's the rhyme my classmates and I used to chant every year during the last few days of school. C'mon, I know you said it too! SOME of you, anyway. And even if you didn't, I know you were just like me and every other school kid and could not wait for summer vacation! Oh, how I longed for those lazy warm summer days with nothing to do but sprawl out in the shade, reading a book or just relaxing. Doing NOTHING was so great! And I had almost three glorious months of it. Of course, the reality of summer vacation was that usually by the middle of July, I was bored to tears, missing my friends, and running out of books to read (that were at my maturity level) at the library. If we got to go on a trip, it was usually the long car ride back to Texas to visit Grandpa and the other relatives and we were only gone ten or twelve days at the most. So even though

Vacation's All I Ever Wanted

Yes, I'm a child of the 80s and The Go-Go's song was a big part of my high school/college summers. And, funny, enough, I heard it today when I went to my neighbor's house (with the pool) after I got Genie Knows Best to my beta readers. The book is due at the end of the month, so you can see I'll be pretty busy the last few days once I get their feedback. And then it'll be on to copy edits of I Dream of Genies, which are due the 6th. And then, on the 9th, I leave for RomCon in Denver, and THEN, I FINALLY get to go on vacation, and let me tell you, I'm going to need it! We're heading to Mt. Rushmore, Mt. Crazy Horse, Devil's Tower, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, so it's not going to be the normal relaxing beach vacation where I lay around and play Scrabble and read books (that I didn't write). I'm kind of bummed about that, but I do want my kids to see these sights while we're still the main family unit, so I'm sucking up my bea

Surf Bunnies

As someone who grew up in Huntington Beach, AKA, Surfing Capital of the World, surfing was more than a sport in our town. It was a way of life. And only appropriate that Fluff and Puff would catch the surfing bug. “Cowabunga, dude!” Fluff and Puff shouted as they pushed their bunny surfboards through the rolling waves. Naturally, the boards’ surfaces were decorated with Happy Bunny’s motto ‘Pscyho but cute’. Their bunny RayBans were clipped to their heads and colorful board shorts covered the lower half of their bunny slipper bodies. “Tell me again why we brought them here?” Jazz grumbled, adjusting her large brimmed hat and the towel protecting her long legs from the morning sun since she only had to look at the bright orb to get burned. Krebs shook his head. “Isn’t there some spell that would give you ultra sun block? You look like a mummy and frankly, you’re scaring the kids.” “The spell is used in a special cream and it gives me a rash.” She reached for the bottle of 300S

I Looked for Him...

These are my woods---the cornfields. I love them when they're green like this. When they're golden, I wish they were green again. :) But I looked for him, hidden in the stalks, waiting. All I could find was corn. The golden tassels glistened in the late night sun; the green leaves protecting the buttery yellow kernels from hungry predators--like me. And sunflowers edging the corn-their sunny faces turned this way and that--a clinging beige grasshopper on one, a moth on the other--the signs of summer. But he wasn't there--or maybe, he was. Only he wouldn't come out to play. I went on a hike through a serene park then. He was there, I'm sure. Waiting for the dark to come, to show himself. He wasn't riding this bike though. He was running in his wolf form. Birds were singing throughout the woods, the sound of highway traffic drifted in the intermittent breeze. But without a wolf's hearing, I couldn't hear the riv


by Libby Malin I am a Kindle owner! I love it. I blogged about it over at me very own wee blog-- click here for edifying post on historical context of ereaders and communications changes throughout the centuries. Now I need to get Kindle accessories. Perhaps a red velvet Kindle cover, hmm? Perhaps something diamond-encrusted and pearl-handled, hmm? Or maybe just a plain leather zip case. Oh yeah. High summer is nearly here. What's that phrase from Gatsby , where Daisy says she always waits for the longest day of the year and then misses it? That's the way I feel about summer--I eagerly wait for it, and then poof, it's gone in a firecracker burst of wonder. Dog days march in, and I'm thinking, "Autumn, autumn. . . are you out there? Will you please come back? I didn't mean those nasty things I said. . ." When I was young (you know, just a few years ago - ahem), summer was my favorite season (okay, may

Beaching It

by Amanda Forester What do you associate with the word “beach”? Smooth white sand? Palm trees? How about barnacles?! My family loves going to the beach, but for us in the Pacific Northwest it’s not exactly tropical. One of our favorite things to do is explore the tide pools at low tide. With nothing more than a pail and shovel my kids can be amused for hours. That’s free entertainment! Exploring the rocky shore line can lead to many exciting discoveries: shells, starfish, snails, sea anemones, sand dollars, crabs, jellyfish, seaweed, limpets, and eels. My son is fearless, picking up huge crabs and catching slickery eels. We also learn a lot by observing how these creatures live. Did you know sand dollars are actually purple and live sticking up in the sand? We have even found an octopus. For my son who is a great lover of cephalopods this was a huge treat, second only to attending a squid dissection at the zoo. Do you see the red octopus in this picture? If red is an indication of h

Summer Songs!

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to
 Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
 Key Largo Montego, baby why don't we go 
Ooh I wanna take you down to Kokomo,
 we'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow
 That's where we wanna go, way down in Kokomo. I imagine it would be a unanimous vote if asked which band throughout all time and every type of music wrote the best/most summertime songs: The Beach Boys. I heard "Kokomo" on the radio recently and immediately thought of summer and music. A dozen songs instantly popped into my head, some by The Beach Boys, but lots of others. Yet when I did a Google search for “summertime songs” I was amazed at the lists! I have narrowed down some of my favorites, ones that either specifically extol fun in the sun or are just so bouncy that they feel like summertime! Enjoy the videos I scrounged up and then share some of your favorite songs of summer. Does it make you want to watch Grease again for the hundredth time? I

Ah, Summer Vacation

I am a night person. I am the most creative at night, when everyone else is asleep and the house is quiet. The phone doesn’t ring. They neighbors aren’t loud in the court. It’s just me and the slight hum and glow of my laptop. It’s heaven. Until middle school began… (And I do have to say ‘middle school’ or my middle schooler will get persnickety about the whole thing. It was junior high when I was that age; but I would dissuade anyone from saying ‘junior high’ to a middle schooler. Or do so at your own risk, in any event. Or maybe it’s just my middle schooler.) Anyway, this past year my son had to be at his desk before 7:30 am. I should probably repeat the first line again – I am a night person. Getting someone somewhere before 7:30 am is a special kind of torture for a night person. For the last nine months, I have risen at the ungodly hour of 5:00 am to shower, dress, fix breakfast, pack a lunch for my son, make sure he’s showered and dressed, and leave the house just in time to m

Those Lazy Days of Summer

When I was a kid, I loved summer. No school, no schedule, no worries. I would sleep late, stay up late, ride my bike everywhere, eat popsicles on the front lawn, and go swimming at the neighborhood pool. Do kids still do that today? Do they still ride their bikes everywhere? I lived in a small town—Flushing, Michigan. Even at the age of 8, my friends and I could ride our bikes to Main Street and go into A&W and get a root beer float. We would ride around all day, stopping home for Kool-Aid or to retrieve something we’d forgotten (Star Wars action figures, water guns, or pom poms—all the necessities). We didn’t have cell phones. We hadn’t even heard of cell phones. My mom didn’t know where we were, and I don’t think she worried. Maybe it’s just because I lived in a small town. In Houston, I don’t see kids going anywhere without parents. I do take my little one to the YMCA, but there are lots of parents there—sometimes more parents than kids. It’s pretty hot, so maybe that’s why ki

The Do's and Don'ts of Summer

I see that this blog now has almost 100 followers, which makes me wonder how that translates into the number of people who actually visit this site every day and read the posts. No, wait. Perhaps it's best not to dwell on that. It's scary enough to think about the total number of books sold versus the number of people who've actually read them. Think about that. One library book can be read by hundreds of people before it finally goes into the recycling bin, and an ebook posted on the internet could be read by millions! Now, that's REALLY scary! But I digress. We're doing the summer theme thing this month, and since I just got back from Myrtle Beach at a little after 1 am on Saturday morning, the whole vacation is fresh in my mind. Or is it? It's funny how quickly we forget things. I know I could probably recall most of it if I put my mind to it, perhaps even tell you hour by hour what we did, but that would be boring. What I mean is, to truly enjoy anyone