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Showing posts from December, 2011


The past year has become a blur, the time lost in frenetic activity. It is rare that I take any time these day for reflection, always instead pushing forward, forging on, but at this time a year ago, I made a truly terrifying and   life-changing decision. One resulting in the abandonment of a twenty year career and a cross country move (my second in two years). Backtrack to 2008— A train wreck year of a year culminating in the loss of two beloved dogs,   the tragic accident and euthanasia of my horse, my father’s late diagnosis and death of lung cancer, and lastly the loss of   my livelihood. My layoff,   a huge shock was followed by eight months of unemployment with no prospects in sight. I know there are many people reading this who acutely understand this wrenching setback in one’s life.    With real estate plummeting and fear of home foreclosure looming, I sought employment where it could be found — 1,000 miles away in Texas,  a temporary solution to an immediate need (so I t

SETTING THE BAR by Anne Elizabeth

As the holiday season draws to a close and the New Year is about to begin, I’d like to share my version of a very common practice – the Resolution List.  In our home, the Navy values of “honor, courage, and commitment” are key forces.  Since we are like most couples – both of us work, we have a lot of family, and scheduling is tight – we try to implement organization when and where it is practical. Here’s my process: I sit down with a blank piece of paper and pencil to write out my greatest hopes and dreams for the coming year. "Non Sibi Sed Patriae!" (Not for self, but country) ~ a US Navy Motto Step One: For country and state: This is usually my loftiest goal area, and yet, somehow it ends up being one of the more successful realms.  Some of the items on my list may be small such as writing more letters and others may be larger such as helping more wounded warriors and disabled veterans to feel at home or settled in our area.  Whatever the asp

So here comes the New Year....

So here comes the New Year…. Wow…where is time going? I remember when I was a kid, that space between weekends seemed soooo long and now, I discover myself looking around on Thursday, just hoping to catch a glimpse of Wednesday because I had a lot more stuff to get done! Well for me, the New Year brings me the chance to look ahead and think about how I want to spend the next year. I always take a moment to look at my books, both contracted and the ones lurking in my mind that desperately want out! I’m just finishing up the last release for 2012. Yes, that’s how far in advance books get turned in for us writers. There is a great deal to do after we turn it in and I’ll get to polish my babies throughout the year before they ever reach the book shelf. So 2012 will see, The Highlander’s Prize, A Lady can never be too Curious and The Trouble With Highlanders coming out. A Lady can Never be too Curious was my first Steam Punk and it was neat to challenge myself with world building once more.

Christmas in Australia

I’m writing this before Christmas so by the time you read this the presents will have been opened, lunch cooked and a few glasses of wine drunk—the family gathering is at my house this year so I will be needing a chilled glass of SSB before the day is out. I live in Western Australia so Christmas is probably going to be about 40 degrees Centigrade, which google tells me is 104 Fahrenheit. I’m wilting just thinking about it. Plus with my fair skin I burn in about 10 mins. While there will be turkey on the table, it won’t be served with hot sides, but there’ll be plenty of salads and some prawns on the BBQ. Because some members of my family won’t eat dried fruit I don’t do a Christmas pudding; I’ll be doing raspberry and lemon cheesecake, and spice shortbread instead. I’m sure by the time this posts we’ll have finished the leftovers :). The best part of Christmas in Australia is that the school holidays last for 7 weeks and more time at home with the kids and less time in th

Merry Christmas from Boston!

from Mia Marlowe... The holiday is over. The tree looks naked without any presents under it. Everyone is tired of left-over turkey. The DH is headed back to work. We just put our oldest daughter on a plane this morning. I'm sad that Christmas is over and we only have several months of cold weather to look forward to. But we had a lovely Christmas here and hope you did too. Here are a couple pics I snapped on Christmas Eve at Boston Commons. I was delighted to see that the decorations on Boston Commons included a menorah and this lovely creche. Evidently the PC Christmas police didn't make it to Boston this year. If our strength is in diversity, let's celebrate it and name things as they are. When I lived in Park City, UT, I learned that the predominantly Mormon population there celebrates July 24th (the day Brigham Young said, "This is the place.") with as much fervor as my family had always celebrated July 4th. When someone wished me a Happy July 24th, I

Happy Day After Christmas! by Tracey Devlyn

Welcome to the morning after! If you celebrate the holidays, I hope you had a happy and safe gathering with your family, friends, four-legged BFF, or favorite movie. The Devlyn household enjoyed a low-key holiday this year. Christmas Eve was spent at my sister-in-law's house, where about fifteen of us gathered. The adults participated in a grab bag exchange and the kids tore through their many presents in no time flat. The hubby and I spent Christmas day alone. We have a long-standing tradition of eating crab legs while watching Little Women . Yes, my husband is a saint. Why this movie and not one of the more traditional stories like A Christmas Carol or It's a Wonderful Life , or even the humorous  A Christmas Story ? I have no idea. :) There's just something about Jo March's journey into womanhood that speaks to me. At the start of the movie, she is not comfortable in her own skin. She feels her destiny lies beyond hearth and home and yearns to appease her wri

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays! Wishing you all bright and joyful holidays!

Twas the day before Christmas...

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night... We're supposed to talk about what we'd like to find with a bow tied around it on Christmas morning. I'm not sure you can put a bow around laughter and good times or put them under the tree but that's what I whispered in Santa's ear when I sat on his lap. And he told me to drag out "the poem" and read it again on Christmas Eve and I'd have both. Husband, the poet in our house, wro te his own version of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" when our children were little. Every year they asked him to read it often that he could recite it by heart by the time the grandchildren were old enough to ask for it. It seemed fitting to share it with y'all since my blog date fell on the day before Christmas! So Merry Christmas everyone and here's hoping your day is better than old Jake's was! JAKE'S NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS by Charles Brown 'Twas the night before Christmas, A

The Healing Power of a Fuzzy Face by C.H. Admirand

There is always a flurry of activity the weekend before Christmas because that’s when I usually bake…except for this year. This year I had a double-deadline (A WEDDING IN PURITY due on December 15th and copyedits for JESSE due on December 20th) I knew it was going to be a tight squeeze to get everything in. I turned in AWIP on time, but then the unexpected happened, our darling dog Ginger woke up on the 16th and we knew something was definitely wrong with her. Our oldest son carried her to the truck for me and he followed in his car. Looking into Ginger’s sweet face with her Cleopatra eyes, I could see that she was in pain and knew that she wanted me to fix it. My heart broke because I knew I couldn’t. The Vet showed us her x-ray and explained that our dog had a cancerous mass that burst—she was bleeding internally—and there was nothing they could do, except ease her suffering. Ho w do you say goodbye to a faithful friend after 12 years? My husband, our oldest son, and I wer

A Gift to Our Readers This Holday Season!

By Danielle Jackson, Sourcebooks Casablanca Publicist  Last Christmas, I received the gift I had been coveting for well over a year—a KINDLE! I love it. I love it so much, at the beginning of the holiday shopping season this year, my boyfriend said to me, “What can I get you this year to top last year? You use that thing EVERYDAY.” And it’s true :-) As we all know, eBook are an ongoing conversation in the publishing industry—love ‘em or hate ‘em, eBooks and eReaders are here and growing in popularity. eReaders have become a wonderful way to discover new authors and promote their books! To celebrate the holidays, Sourcebooks has put announces its most extensive eBook promotion to date!  From December 21, 2011-January 8, 2012 , purchase the first book from a Sourcebooks author for only $1.99 —books that are the first in a series, or the first book that Sourcebooks published by that author (and a few extra for good measure).  More than 65 exceptional books ranging from young

All I want for Christmas is...

***Please forgive any typing errors or general rambling...deadline before holiday and I am running on no sleep and holiday chocolate. ONE MORE TIME ....ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS.... THREE HOT MEN! No....well maybe:) But I better leave them for my readers. So now that they are back on the shelf, there is only one wish I ever have on a holiday or a birthday and that is that my kids and family to be safe and happy. I mean who wouldn't trade anything in our lives for that to be true? I try to remember that. To focus on what is important. That brings me to the second most important thing after wishes in the holiday season -- giving thanks. So I want to say thank you to all the people who have come into my life and my writing career and been such supportive, amazing friends. I have a close writing friend who is always a sounding block, and that for a writer, is a blessing. So shout out to Donna Grant! I also am involved with an on line group called 'The Dangerous Women' that m

All I Want for Christmas is You- by Sara Humphreys

This has been one hell of a year for me professionally. Unleashed , the first book in my Amoveo Legend series, was released in October and as if that wasn't enough,  my agent sold my Dead in the City series to Sourcebooks in another five book deal. It's been an absolute dream come true but truth be told...I didn't dare to dream that big. This year far surpassed the goals I set out for myself as a writer and I'm extremely grateful for everything that has come to pass. One of the coolest things I've gotten to do this year, is get to know some of my readers. It is an enormous thrill to meet/tweet with/chat with/FB with someone who read and enjoyed my work. It's a humbling, flattering and thrilling experience all rolled into one. After connecting with readers via FB, Twitter, blogs and even face-to-face at book signings, I decided I wanted to personally connect with as many folks as possible. You may be asking yourself...why?  It's not a purely ego dri

Grace's Christmas List

I am the luckiest lady imaginable. In the past year, Sourcebooks, Inc., has put four books on the shelves for me, one of which, “The Heir,” was a PW Best Book for 2010, while “The Soldier” was an honorable mention Best of the Best for The Library Journal in 2011, and “Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish” was nominated for RT’s Best Historical Romance of 2011. The first two books made bestsellers lists, a gift that does not befall many talented writers in the course of long, hard-working careers. What could I possible want for Christmas? A Nobel prize? An antidote to global warming? A cure for common cold? I shouldn’t want anything for Christmas for myself. Christmas has come in the past year so often, I ought to change my address to the North Pole. And yet… I am human, and I have been a reasonably good girl, sooo…. What I want for Christmas, for my life, is wisdom, perspective and good company. I want these things badly

Home for the Holidays

by Tamara Hogan  Weasel lends a helping (?) hand  Christmas. It's a time to get together with friends and family, to catch up, to chat, to exchange presents...and of course eat too much. Home for the holidays. It resonates, doesn't it? Mr. K waits for his turn  In my family, we tend to gather at the home of my youngest sister, the only one of us to have produced a grandchild - a dear girl named Taylor that we all adore and shamefully overindulge during the holidays. In addition to my sister's home being centrally located, the house has a huge family room equipped with a fireplace, with enough room for everyone to sit comfortably for hours. Because we will be sitting there for hours. We open our gifts in rotation, from youngest to oldest, one gift at a time, cycling through everyone until all the gifts are open. Though my niece finds this approach excruciating, there are several benefits:  - everyone gets to ooh and aah over every gift, and - there's

Dream On

by Elisabeth Naughton There's not much that catches my interest as far as gifts go. I'm hard to buy for, I'll admit it. If I see something I can't live without, I'll buy it when it's on sale. And my hubby is a gem and surprises me with gifts throughout the year for no other reason than he likes to keep me happy. (Because 1. He's a smart man and 2. We've been married long enough that he knows a happy Elisabeth equals a happy house.) But while thinking "big" for this blog post, I came across this. And oh yeah, Santa. I'd definitely take one of these: This pool just looks so totally awesome. No ugly hole in the ground during the winter months! I'd definitely like one under my my backyard. And while I'm at it, I'll take a pool boy to manage the pool and a masseuse to ease my stress over watching the pool boy manage said awesome pool. No? Bugger. Okay, in that case, I'll ask for kids who don't argue (a girl ca

DEAR SANTA, By Kathryne Kennedy

Dear Santa, Well, I suppose it’s been a long time since I’ve written you. But our theme for this month on our Casablanca blog is what I would like under my tree, so I figured, who better to ask than dear old Saint Nick? Gosh, how old was I when I last sent you a letter? Nine? Ten? I can’t imagine what I asked for. Maybe a doll. Maybe roller skates. I remember getting a pair about that age and loving them. When I was young, it was a wonderful time of egocentricity, where the world only revolved around my own wants and needs. I couldn’t really comprehend the Big Wide World, nor did I truly have much awareness of it beyond my own sheltered life. I was blessed with a great childhood. No one in my family got sick. No one close to me had died. The only thing I lacked was a bit more entertainment, so I imagine my list to you was comprised of only those things. But I’m a big girl now. So I’m afraid that what I want under my tree is going to be difficult for you. Maybe impossible.

The Greatest Gifts

by Leah Hultenschmidt Senior Editor So back at Thanksgiving, I listed the many many many many reasons I'm so grateful for my amazing Casa authors. Now time for this year's Fire authors. So to the spectacularly talented crew who makes me feel like a teen all over again--you guys rock! Katherine Grace Bond--SU MMER OF NO REGRETS is the book I wish I had when I was 13. Powerful, poignant and fun all at the same time. Zoraida Cordova--Really, you had me at mermaids and the seedy paranormal underbelly of Coney Island. But then I got to experience your infectious energy first hand. This is going to be such a fun ride! Kim Culbertson--You gave me an amazing trip to Rome in INSTRUCTIONS FOR A BROKEN HEART. How could you not love that? Janet Gurtler--Your deft touch with teen emotions is unparalleled, and you manage to connect with every single reader. And you have a Canadian accent. ;-) Geoff Herbach--Sometimes I call you for no reason but make something up just so we can have a