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Showing posts from February, 2012

Romance is in the air...

Today is the day that romance is in the air. Nope, it's not Valentine's Day! That was earlier this month. It's LEAP YEAR so there's an extra day in the month of February and that is today. Now to us modern gals, that don't mean a whole lot but to Sadie Hawkins it was her lifeline to a husband. Folk lore has it that she was "the homeliest gal in the hills" and grew almighty tired of waiting for the fellows to come a courtin'. I can just imagine how she must've felt with gals like Daisy Mae in competition. Hekzebiah Hawkins, her father and a prominent resident of Dogpatch, didn't want to see his baby girl unhappy plus there was the fact that he sure didn't want her to be living at home forever. So in the 1930's he declared a Sadie Hawkin's Day. It involved a footrace in which the unmarried gals pursued the town's bachelors, with matrimony the consequence. Back in my grandmother's younger days, leap year and spring fever joined

Fall in Love with JESSE & Giveaway by C.H. Admirand

I fall in love with all of the heroes I write about and Jesse Garahan is no exception. To celebrate the month of love, I will be giving away and ARC of JESSE to one lucky winner, picked at random, tonight. But first, let me tell you a little bit about why I write about good-looking Irishmen. February is almost over and the most changeable of months is almost upon us...March...a month that is forever tied with my Celtic ancestors. But to tell you the truth, I celebrate my Irish pride 365 days of the year. One of my writing quirks is that I love to include bits and pieces of my ancestors and Celtic ancestry in all of my books and the Secret Life of Cowboys trilogy does just that! I love writing about family and when Tyler Garahan first started talking to me, I just knew he'd have to have brothers. Before I had settled on the fact that he wasn't going to be an only child, Dylan and Jesse started arguing to get my attention. And so the dark haired, dark eyed, Irish cowboys

Perhaps Love .... by Grace Burrowes

I am forever indebted to Eloisa James for giving me the words, “Love heals the shame… love heals everything.” These phrases were muttered asides during her luncheon speech at RWA National a few years ago, meaning she gave them to a couple thousand other people at the same time. They about made me cry (National is enough to make anybody cry, but that’s a different post). We all have ideas about what love is—love is patient, love is kind, love never ends. Love is steadfast and honest. Some say love is holding on, some say letting go (apologies to Placido Domingo and John Denver, though it’s a beautiful tune. ) But as for what love does , EJ hit it on the head. She might also have said, “Love makes us braver than we ever thought we could be, brave enough to be the best, most true-to-ourselves we can be.” Sex has nothing, specifically, to do with this. What propels a good romance novel forward is a dance between fear—he/she’ll walk if I start to let him in, he/she’ll try to take over

In Love with Music by Sara Humphreys

I love music. It can bring me out of the deepest funk, make me smile through tears or take me back to a breathtaking moment in time. Music has the innate ability to call up a plethora of emotions and memories but it can also spark my muse to life. I drive quite a bit for my gig with The College of Westchester and while I'm doing my road warrior thing, music is constantly flowing through the speakers of my bad-ass mini-van. (I know...a mini-van isn't bad ass but I have to think of it that way in order to tolerate driving it.) I use this drive time to do much of the plotting for my books and the songs inevitably help me along.  As I plot, certain songs are more helpful than others and these songs end up compiling a soundtrack for each book. Within each soundtrack, there is a theme song that I end up using as the music for the book trailers. Amy Petty, whom I've blogged about before, is my primary musical muse for the Amoveo Legend series. She and her record label Red Pi

Love is in the Air by Stephanie Julian

A little Valentine's month cheer. Enjoy.

I’m in Love with… Romance Cover Photo Shoots!

As a publicist, there are parts of the book process that I have no part in—acquisitions meetings, copyediting and proofreading, page corrections… but I’ll be honest, all of those things make my head spin. However, I’ve ALWAYS been interesting in the whole cover process. I love getting called into a cover meeting and give my opinion—“I like that color and that image, but it should be cropped”—like I’m secretly an art director or something. So when our senior managing editor asked me if I wanted to go on a photo shoot, I said yes without hesitation! One snowy Friday morning, I made my way to the studio of Izui Photography, Inc. , and met our great photographer, Dick Izui! I was surprised how professional everything was—no matter that people were half-naked and barely knew one another in passionate poses. A few of the models hadn’t done romance covers before, so it was a pretty cool learning experience for everyone. Between the photographer and his assistants, the models, the w

A Funny Thing Happened While Reading a Love Scene by Tamara Hogan

A number of months ago, I was the guest speaker at my college roommate's book club. While we talked about the book, one of the members - the cutest little thing, with punky platinum hair that took me back in time [mumble mumble] years - revealed that while reading TASTE ME, she and husband had... a lot of sex. An unusual amount of sex, most of which she'd initiated. "I'd read a chapter or two, turn over and tap him on the shoulder, and...whoa, Lordy, it was ON."  After the group finished laughing, she continued her story. One night, when she and her husband were getting ready for bed, he gestured to the book, lying on her bedside table. "Aren't you going to - you know - um, read?" he asked. Instead of doing so, she paged to the book's first love scene, and passed the book to him. "Why don't you?" So, he read. When he finished the scene, he closed the book, turned off his light, and settled down to sleep. "And...nothing!&quo

“The Love of a Forever Family” (By Catherine Mann)

Puppy love is universal! Every time I foster puppies for my local Humane Society, I lose a piece of my heart all over again. But to be truthful, I lose a much larger part of my heart to the adult shelter dogs who have a tougher time finding a new home. American poet Joaquin Miller once wrote, “The biggest dog has been a pup.” When I walk through my local shelter, my eye is drawn to the older overlooked dogs who were once cute puppies too. Back in December, one dog in particular caught my eye and tugged at my heart. His name is Big Daddy, a gray muzzled beagle. He’d been brought in with a female beagle who was pregnant and ready to deliver. I’m a realist. I knew what my role would be as a shelter foster mom. Big Daddy needed to stay at the shelter so he had a better chance at being adopted. Mama Dog needed to come with me to finish delivering her litter in a home environment. Mama Dog had four beautiful puppies four days before Christmas. We named her Noelle and named her pupp

Love Is In The Air

I have to admit to not being a huge Valentines Day fan. List me among those who don't believe you need just one day out of the year to "feel the love". My husband always gets me flowers on Valentines Day, and sometimes we go out for dinner, sometimes we stay in and make a nice meal (steak and lobster were on the menu this year), but it's really not a "big" day for either of us. Our daughter is about to turn 13 and she's just getting into the whole puberty/hormones/falling in love thing. This year a boy gave her her first real Valentines Day gift and she's been struggling with how to react to it. On one hand she feels funny and unsure about the whole thing. She likes him, but now she knows he likes her too so she's nervous. On the other, she's giddy and excited as any middle school girl would be. And as we've been talking to her about relationships and boys and what to expect/look for, I've been reminded of how unimportant Valentines D

Bee Mine

I love Valentine's Day. I know a lot of people hate this "Hallmark Holiday," and I can understand that. But it's the Hallmark part that I love! Remember those tacky little Valentine cards we handed out to all our classmates? Nobody got their feelings hurt, because the teachers insisted that we give a card to every single member of the class. So everybody got some love. The cards came in boxes of twenty or thirty and featured all kinds of images and terrible, terrible puns. In a fit of nostalgia, I went hunting on the internet for some of these little masterpieces, and I found a few that are appropriate for some of our Casababes. I know I should have sent one to everyone in the class, but it was a challenge finding sufficiently groan-worthy puns for everyone! Here's one with a wolf, for Terry Spear: And a mermaid, for Judi Fennell: A kilted Scotsman, for Amanda Forester: A "Domestic God" for Robin Kaye: And a kitty cat for Cheryl Brooks: But of co

Love according to ancient Greece

I'm working away on my second series for Sourcebooks. It's a spin-off of the Strange Neighbors series. What does that have to do with ancient Greece? Only a smidgeon, but a smidgeon is all a writer needs for inspiration. In my new cast of characters, I've included Gaia, a major Greek Goddess who we know as Mother Nature. For the fun of it, I'm including the occasional Greek God who fits with the story. No...I'm not writing historicals. Hopefully, I'm writing an hysterical! Anyway, in my research, I came upon some interesting information. At least it's interesting to me. Maybe you'll find it dry, but I'm going to share it in the hope that maybe you, like me, have heard these words bandied about, but didn't really know the difference between them. Greek distinguishes several different senses in which the word love is used. For example, Ancient Greek has the words philia , eros , agape , storge and xenia . However, with Greek as with many

Valentine's Day Isn't The Only Day for Lovers by, Judi Fennell

I know this will post on February 17, but as I write it, it's February 16, a very important date in my life. It's my parents' anniversary. And, as I write this, they're out to dinner, celebrating, just the two of them. It's #49 for them. I cannot believe it's that many years (though, given that I just turned 47 and can do the math, I shouldn't be soooo surprised, but still...). I've been around for all but 2 of those years. And when I was in college, of course, and then 3 hours away for the first few years of my marriage, but still, I've been here for those 49 years. And I'll tell you, one thing that has stuck with me is a saying my mom has always said, "It's a commitment to the commitment." She and Dad haven't always agreed on everything (which would be why I got to live in Spain when she was dead set against it). They've had their share of "disagreements." (She'd kill me if I had written "fights."

And the Winners Are...

by Deb Werksman Editorial Manager, Sourcebooks Casablanca Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey on romance reading habits posted on the blog last month. Five responders have been randomly selected to win a FREE Sourcebooks book. Here are the winners! Congratulations! Chris S Sophia Rose Gayle Cochrane Allison Edney Constance Martin

Hunky WOLF Terry Spear

US Navy SEALs are hot! Just as Rangers and Special Forces men I met in the Army were. But what happens when they're also a lot WOLF? Hunter Greymere's SEAL team comes to mind. When I wrote that Hunter was a US Navy SEAL in book 3, To Tempt the Wolf, I hadn't thought of him as being a part of a whole wolfish SEAL team. That was our editor, Deb Werksman's gem of an idea! And that was the beginning of my thinking of how I could come back to the pack someday and write another story about another member of the wolf SEAL team. Now fans also helped because many wanted me to write Hunter's sister's story. In the original Oregon coast wolf pack story, Meara was looking for a mate. And fans wanted her to find one!!! So in A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing,  book 9, she's at it again. The she-wolf will play when the alpha male is away. That's Hunter, the pack leader, not her mate. Wolves mate for life, so she's just thrilled he's off on a honeymoon

Happy Valentine's Day, I Guess

by Olivia Cunning Valentine's Day is not my favorite holiday. I know, I know. A romance author should probably keep such things to herself. The idea behind the holiday is nice, but shouldn't we be celebrating love everyday, not just one day out of the year? I don't hate Valentine's Day, but it has seldom been kind to me. It started in elementary school. Was I the only one who didn't want to give a Valentine to every jerk in my elementary class? Of course, there was the secret crush whose card I carefully selected (from a box of 32 similar cards). That Super-Friends card  was so heartfelt. And will you just look at the darling heart-shape I used to dot the "i" in my secret crush's name. sigh... Finally, he will know my true feelings. We will live happily ever after. (Yes, I was nine, so what?) But what about the mean kid who eats his boogers and pushed me off the monkey bars? Why did I have to give him a card? I sure didn't want him t

Valentine's Day Panic!

by Amanda Forester *Note - after comment I have removed spoilers just in case you didn't watch Downton last night. I'm late posting a blog today, but I got so caught up in Downton Abbey I could not tear myself away to write it. I've found clips of future episodes on you tube, but I will refrain! Ok, I will mostly refrain. Mostly I said! Anyway, the point of this blog is not to talk of star crossed lovers, but of acknowledged ones. Married people. People in relationships. You see it is Valentine's Day Eve . In other words, time to PANIC ! If you have made your reservations, arranged the babysitter, and composed a sonnet to your love, you can stop reading now. I have nothing to offer you, now go away with your smug self. If, however, you are, like me, just opening your eyes to the grey light of a Monday morning with the hope that coffee, let's make that a double, will somehow chase away grogginess, only to find that tomorrow is Valentine's Day and you've don

Better than Chocolate….

By Robin Kaye I love Chocolate, coffee, and my husband not necessarily in that order. I love coffee in the same way I love air—I need it to live, but I can enjoy it—who doesn’t love the first whiff of the ocean when they’re headed to the beach, or that scent of home after a long trip? Coffee for me is necessary for life but also something I look forward to every morning, afternoon, and most nights too. Loving my husband is easy because like most men, what you see is what you get. The morning he proposed, he didn’t have a ring, a speech, or, it seemed, a plan. He just looked over and said, “So, you want to get married?” We’d only been dating four months; I think his proposal was as much a shock to him as it was to me. After I said, yes, he went right out (without my knowledge, mind you) and sold his motorcycle, his most prized possession, to buy me a ring. He might not be the hearts and flowers type, but with him, I never wonder if I’m loved. Over the years, he’s given up much more than


As a romance writer there is one (alright maybe many) hard and fast rule that one must live by—at the end of the 80-100,000 tirelessly scribed words which might involve any combination of hero and heroine archetypes in myriad plot devices, there MUST be a happy ever after. This is as carved in stone as the tablets of Moses.  End. Of. Story. However, as a reader, I am never more stirred to depths of my being than by the sheer poignancy of sacrificial and even tragic love stories. You know, the kind that make you ransack the entire house for a box of Kleenex. And while my poor little heart can only stand this much emotion once in a blue moon, here is my own list of five of the most tragically romantic couples in history and mythology.   I.                     MARC ANTONY and CLEOPATRA Immortalized by "the bard" is the true love story of Antony and Cleopatra derived from   Plutarch 's "Life of Mark Antony"  We join his story as Cleopatra receives Anton