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Showing posts from May, 2011

"The Soldier" Marches Out Smartly! by Grace Burrowes

This is a wonderful, delightful, awesome, very good day for me because the second book in The Duke’s Obsession Trilogy heads for the shelves. “The Soldier” is the story of not one but three wounded and weary hearts who find their way to a happily ever after, and of all the manuscripts I’ve completed, this is one of the ones I’ve enjoyed writing the most. Devlin St. Just is the first born illegitimate son of the Duke of Moreland, tossed into his father’s household at a young age in order that he might have “every advantage.” What he ended up with was a bewildering adjustment and nine younger half siblings, toward whom he adopted a role closer to bodyguard than brother. With the Napoleonic wars finally at an end, Devlin musters out of the cavalry and drags himself home to find his enterprising family has prevailed on the Regent to dump an impoverished Yorkshire earldom in his lap—and the estate comes complete with the former owner’s very young

Glass Half Empty or Half Full? (By Catherine Mann)

Our Casablanca blog theme for the month: Hope. This made me think of the age old question: Is your glass half empty or half full? Yes, you are seeing a blinged-out, be-dazzled, monogrammed wine glass. It started out as a joke at a neighborhood picnic and now has become a cute tradition when we gather for cook outs. Stick on jewels are courtesy of the local craft store. :) Diet coke, straight from my fridge. But I digress. I like to think I'm a glass-half-full kind of person. Although like most folks, I have my days when it seems the glass it mighty darn empty. So, on one of those days, I posted the "glass" question on my facebook page, hoping to find either commiseration or inspiration. I actually found both in the witty answers of my facebook friends. Here are a few of the highlights. I hope they bring a smile to your face as well! Is your glass half empty or half full? *Neither. Mine is overflowing. *Depends on whether I'm drinking. *What glass??

Memorial Day...Pause and Remember

Memorial Day... Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U. S. soldiers who died while in military service. Memorial Day began as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the Civil War, but by the early 20th century, it was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not. Today, I would like to take a minute to thank all the women and men who are serving our country, who have served our country in the past and most of all those who are away from their families today as they protect my family and its freedom. You all have my utmost admiration and appreciation and deserve respect and honor beyond words to describe and beyond what is possible to imagine. The flag in our front yard is flying at half mast until noon to remember the more than one million men and women who have given their lives in service to our country. At noon, Husband, who is a vete

The Glamorous Life

Before I was an author I used to dream about the good life. Working from home, setting my own hours, sleeping in, writing when I want to write and never again being tied to a bell (yes, I was a teacher in my previous life). And let's not forget the Lots of it. From all my sales I'd buy a bigger house, take lavish vacations. Write the next bestseller from the shores of Hawaii. Talk to any of my friends and they think this is my life. I'm an author, right? And all authors live like Danielle Steel, don't they? Ah, the glamour... That fantasy trickled through my mind today as I was sitting in the library, working on revisions for my April 2012 release, ENRAPTURED. Why was I at the public library? Because it's free to work there. A dollar in parking pays for free Internet and a relatively quiet place where I can get away from my screaming kids (all three of whom had the day off from school...thank you, budget reductions). Of course, free comes with a


When I read the theme for this month’s blog, I was working on my first round of edits for book 3 in THE ELVEN LORDS series, THE LORD OF ILLUSION, and came across a passage that fit perfectly into our theme. One of those serendipitous moments. :} I think all writers deal with the concept of hope in their stories. No matter how bad things get, no matter how dispirited our characters are by the sometimes cruel situations we put them in, we always leave them hope. Although, you, as the reader, know there’s going to be a happy ending because you are reading a romance, our characters don’t and we must give them the strength to keep fighting…or a little help in continuing to do so, as shown in the excerpt below from THE LORD OF ILLUSION. My heroine is strong on the outside, but inside she is broken. When her growing love for my hero allows her to open up, to allow the one part of her that she has been able to protect to become vulnerable, she is given the strength to work towards becoming w

Black Ops and Men in Black

by Mary Margret Daughtridge . The other day, out making an errand run, on the spur of the moment I decided to detour to a friend’s house. I paid little attention when the shiny lime green car behind me made the same turns I did, until it turned into the driveway of my friend’s next door neighbor, just as I pulled into her drive. A man got out and walked toward me flashing a badge. That’s the beginning of the story I was going to introduce this blog with. Sorry, I can’t tell you more. I realized even if I disguised as many details as I could, anyone who knew just a few public facts about me would be able to interpolate what the real story was. And you never know, you just never know who will read a blog. So I dumped the whole idea. But thinking about how easily any disguise of a true story could unravel made me appreciate the extreme secrecy under which SEALs operate. Fundamentally, everything about everything they do is secret. Which is why I was surprised


You wanna talk about hope? I'm hoping for a lot of things right now, but mainly I'm just hoping I can get through the month of June. Virgin's release is June 1, and Double Desire, my contribution to Sharing , the first Sextet Anthology for Siren, will be released June 3rd. I'm going to the Lori Foster Get Together the first weekend in June. My hope there is that I arrive without having gotten lost. (Mapquest, don't fail me now!) Then I have an INRWA meeting the second Saturday in June. I have revisions to Stud due June 20th. Then there are the guest blogs for Virgin throughout the month of June. To date, I've written one. Usually I'm done with them the month prior, but several are interviews. Don't have the questions yet, so I can't write them. Guess I'll move on to write the later ones first. At least I'll be ahead on something. Then there's RWA the last week of June. I'll be missing both of my son's birthdays becaus

I Still Believe in a Place Called Hope (Arkansas, that is) by Shana Galen

This month we’re blogging about hope. I’ve been to Hope. I stayed in a Holiday Inn there. And I met the future President of the United States too. In 1984 my family moved from Michigan to Texas. The economy in Michigan was struggling (kind of like now), and my dad got a job offer in Houston. He accepted the offer, bought a house, then called my mom and told her to sell the house in Michigan and pack up the car. She did. She packed the whole house, arranged the move, then drove three days with two little kids and a cat. She’d never even seen the house my dad bought. I know she was operating on hope alone. I hope the house he bought doesn’t have orange shag carpet (it did). I hope the kids don’t get sick on the drive (my sister threw up the first day). I hope we can sneak the cat into the motel (I told the friendly manager who said hi to me all about the cat in our room and we were asked to leave). We did eventually make it to Houston, but not before that stop in Hope, Arkans

Hope, Faith, and the Rules of Romance

by Joanne Kennedy Hope is at the heart of every romance novel. The heroine hopes for love and a better life. The hero hopes he can be the one who helps her realize her dreams. The reader hopes for a happy ending. And the author hopes the whole thing works out, too. Hope is a big part of my writing process. When I begin a book, I have an idea of how my story's going to go -- but so much depends on something beyond myself. Maybe it's inspiration, maybe it's a muse, but I think it's a kind of magic contained in stories themselves, something that brings them alive and makes all the pieces fit together like blocks in a Rubik's Cube sliding into place. When I start a story, I hope the magic works. I hope my characters grow and develop in my mind until they become fully real. I hope my plot works as well in practice as it does in theory, with all those pieces sliding together to make a cohesive whole. I hope the themes I'm dealing with come to mean more and more to

Friends through the romance community

Hi all, I have friends from Australia coming to visit! We'll host them for a week, and I'm so looking forward to seeing them again. Does this tie in with our theme of hope? Oh, it most certainly does. I never would have met Rebecca if not for writing romance. We started with the same e-publisher many years ago. Liking her immediately through her posts on the author's forum, I started corresponding with her via email. I read one of her books and was impressed by her talent of handling vivid description without bogging down the pace. I asked her to critique for me, because I was working on this skill. She did, and then allowed me to critique for her too. It was not only an honor, but a pleasure. Who wouldn't want an early peek at a wonderful story written by one of their favorite authors? We critiqued for each other many times after that and still do on occasion. At one point, I wrote an Aussie heroine and a Rom hero who met on a cruise ship. She couldn't have

Hoping for Laughter

With the release of my debut novel nearing, I've been in the clouds the last couple of weeks. I still can't believe it. Even after receiving my author copies, I am still in shock. I knew the cover was beautiful, but actually being able to see it in person and hold it in my hands makes it even more awesome. And here is the obligatory photo of my books with posing kitty, which is an event in itself. Have you ever tried to get a cat to pose? I was planning on writing a long, inspiring post about hope. However, I am the last person who should do that. I'm way too irreverent--and at times devilishly wicked. But there's one thing that I've discovered in my thirty-something years. Laughter, itself, inspires hope. Even in times of sadness, a little laughter can help lighten the mood. I think that's why my books tend to spring into the off-the-wall and wacky. I want to inspire people with humor. After all, laughter is the best medicine.

I Have to Blog about Which Book???

It's nearly time for the release of HEART OF THE HIGHLAND WOLF, and all that gorgeous wolf and Highland combination that makes a body want to visit a castle in Scotland and stay there! But even though this is the current book to release, what am I thinking about??? Jaguars!!! Or, jaguar shifters. It's hard when writing the current work in progress, to remember what I wrote nearly four books ago!!! So when readers ask me how do I keep track of all my characters? I don't. :) And that's the truth. But I love to reread the stories to get a feel of the characters again anyway, so it's fine with me that way. I don't make lists or anything. I used to years ago--a To Do List, and was so wrapped up in it, I had to just give it up. So, being the pantser that I am, I just reread. If ONLY the books came in audio books. Yes! Then I could listen to a Highlander's burr all night long. Who really needs sleep? And then I'd recall all the details of the story I h