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Showing posts from June, 2012

Dog Days of Summer!

It’s so hot out right now, chickens are laying omelets! Okay, the chicken bit may be stretching it a little, but not much. Without a doubt, the heat this summer is extreme. We take care to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, stay cool, but what about our pets? They’re at our mercy and they are incredibly vulnerable to the heat as well. Here are a few easy tips – tips that could well save your pet’s life. *Do not leave your pets in the car, even with the windows down. They can suffer heat stroke quickly. And in many states it’s illegal to leave your dog in the car in extreme weather. *Keep clean water available at all times when your dog is inside and out. And be sure your dog has access to shade. *Pool play is fun, but be sure your dog is able to get out of the pool on its own. Baby pools can also be a fun, cool down treat for dogs. *Heartworm, flea & tick preventatives are always important, but especially so in the summer. Check with your vet to make sure you’re usi


When I heard our theme this month was rest and relaxation, the first thing I thought about was a good book. There is no better way for me to unwind and leave my worries behind than delving into the pages of a great story. I’m so looking forward to the next holiday, when I can rest and relax, because Sourcebooks had a sale, so I’ve got a great stockpile of books waiting for me to read. (Only sad thing about being a writer: it seems I have less time to read because my old eyes can’t manage both.) A while back, a wonderful hostess for a blog took one of my books, opened it to a random page, and chose a couple of sentences to share with readers. I thought this was such a clever idea, that I wanted to borrow it today. So here are some sentences from just opening up to a random page of each book in my To Be Read pile: Ace ran a hand through his blond curly hair, then settled his Stetson on his head. "We have to fly home tomorrow. So if y'all will let us get on with our

Rest, Relax, Rejuvenate, and...Recover?

By Cheryl Brooks I've gotten a little bit of rest this spring and summer. Unfortunately, most of it was sort of forced on me. Read on and you'll see what I mean. Starting in April, I went to the RT Booklovers Convention. Needless to say, I had a lovely time at that event... ...but arrived home with lots of swag and a sinus infection. I finally went to the walk-in clinic the following Friday after taking my cat in for her shots.The NP there asked if I'd ever had pneumonia before, (I hadn't) gave me a shot of Rocephin and prescriptions for Augmentin and an albuterol inhaler, and told me to take Claritin. Apparently, I was sicker than I thought. Feeling slightly better, I went to the Indiana RWA chapter's mini conference the next day. Our speaker was Bob Mayer. Great workshop, but I went home and basically died for the next three days. I spent the following weekend with my sisters in Kentucky. We drove up to Louisville and visited Farmi

Spa Day

by Deb Werksman Editorial Manager, Sourcebooks Casablanca I just had the marvelous experience (thanks to my marvelous husband) of a spa vacation. I took my 21-year-old daughter with me. (I know I don’t look old enough to have a grown-up daughter!) We went to Southern California, where we visited my parents before and after our three days at the fabulous LaCosta Spa in Carlsbad, near San Diego. The first thing to note about Southern California is the weather is perfect—actually, they have no weather, which is essentially the same thing: every day was warm, with blue skies, waving palm trees, blooming flowers, and general bliss. We scheduled our spa treatment for late afternoon so it wouldn’t interfere with pool time (and romance reading time—more on that later). We didn’t indulge in the manicures, pedicures, or anything else available at the marvelous salon there, but we did try the Thai massage, Shiatsu massage, Restorative facial, Custom Scrub, and Odyssey massage at the Deep

Time to Relax

I think most of us would love to relax more. And I think I know exactly why we don't relax more. We don't have time. I know I don't have time. But I think I've figured out how I could find more time. It's very simple. I need a personal maid. I need a personal chef. I need a personal gardener. I need a personal chauffeur. I need a personal hairdresser. What about you? If you had to choose, which of the above would help you have more time to relax?

Rereading what you wrote

I love nothing more than a few leisurely moments to myself with a good book. Most afternoons I can find some time to just relax and read what someone else worked hard on. I don't usually reread my own stories, but that's because I already know what's going to happen. I like surprises when I read. How many of you have had a long enough time between a finished manuscript and your first edits to forget parts of your story? I'm not saying you're no longer familiar with your characters. They're like old friends. Sometimes revisiting an old manuscript as if it's a new book you're reading for pleasure is extremely helpful--but how long does it take to get that perspective? My edits just came back for book 1 in my new Flirting with Fangs series. The editor did a great job and came up with some terrific questions and suggestions. Still, I caught a couple more opportunities for improvement on my own. I even invented a new character! Weird, huh?

Edits...Did I write that?

How many of you have had a long enough time between a finished manuscript and your first edits to forget parts of your story? I'm not saying you're no longer familiar with your characters. They're like old friends, although I had forgotten the color of my heroine's eyes and realized I'd given her blue eyes in one scene and green in another. Oddly enough, I didn't pick it up when it was fresh in my mind. I was too close. Sometimes revisiting an old manuscript as if it's a new book you're reading for pleasure is extremely helpful. My edits just came back for book 1 in my new Flirting with Fangs series. The editor did a great job and came up with some terrific questions and suggestions. Still, I caught a couple more inconsistencies on my own. Weird, huh? It's not all bad when you're looking at your writing with fresh eyes. I caught myself smiling in a few places and thinking, Heh heh...that was pretty good. However, I rarely go back and read

Heat Miser

Okay, so who's singing? You know: "I'm Mr.... " oops, guess I can't post the lyrics. Copyright violation. So I'll just point you to this (and let them worry about the copyright): But as I look at all these summery posts, my inner Heat Miser rears his red-headed head. I hate summer. I know, I know, I'm odd. Trust me, I've heard it all. I hate the heat. I hate to sweat. I hate mowing the lawn. Give me winter and some snow to shovel and I'm thrilled, but make me have to slather on SPF 50 and carry around one of those personal cooling devices (which a Child has commandeered, so there goes that little bit of relief), actually have to wear shoes because I'll burn my soles... No thank you. Plus, we have kids home who are "bored" (seriously? how can you be bored? There are chores to do, a LAWN to mow... Really? Bored? Come talk to mama, kiddos. I'll show you how un-bored you can be)

Toggling between Jaguars and Wolves

What do you think? Wet and wild? Hungry and appealing? Dark and mysterious? Jaguar. Yeah, it's him, don't you think? Same look? In the fall I'm going to visit a big cat reserve in Texas with one of my coworkers. We'll wait until fall though when it's cooler and the cats are more active. I'll take lots of pictures and share for the upcoming release of Savage Hunger in October!! If you haven't seen the new covers Sourcebooks out-of-this-world cover artists are working on, here they are! Vote on covers and/or make comments to ensure Jaguar Fever has your input! Now you can help decide the front! Give us your vote for the cover you love and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. Your opinion counts at Discover a New Love! Back to the wolves though. Note to self, no mention of going to the dogs. These poor wolves look a little scrawny. Thanks so much to Stephanie Shaw for sharing this w

My Crazy Summer

by Olivia Cunning Summer is only a few days old, but mine is already crazy. Last month, I was wishing on a lucky star that I'd get a new job in Galveston, TX. And... I got it! So life went from hectic to crazy in the span of a few days. I just finished teaching an accelerated summer class at my present job (yesterday, to be precise), or I'd probably already be driving a moving truck to Texas. I'm currently packing and getting the house ready to sell. We leave next weekend. Next weekend?!?! That can't be right. I'd better get back to packing. I spent last weekend running a yard sale. I met neighbors I didn't even know I had. They bought my stuff for cheap which means less packing for me. I also donated a lot (LOT) of stuff to charity, which also means less packing for me. The less I pack, the less I have to unpack. While getting rid of all these material possessions, I have determined that I'm a total pack rat. As we're moving from a three bedroom h

Cute, but not a Puggle

by Amanda Forester I confess today's' blog was inspired by Robin Kaye's blog two days ago, which introduced me to the utterly adorable breed of dog - the "puggle".   Sooooo cute. Apparently, the puggle is a cross between a pug, a beagle, and the soft fuzzy center of ultimate cuteness.   In the historical I am currently writing, my heroine needs a companion.   Ok, sure eventually she'd get the guy, but until then maybe I should give her a dog.   Breeds of dogs have definitely changed over the years so I needed to do some research into what animals were actually present in the 14th century.   Medieval folks enjoyed hunting dogs (release the hounds!) and had other working breeds, and even companion animals.   Unfortunately, the puggle was not yet created. Since we are discussing dogs, here is my dog, "Tibi".   She is cute too, though admittedly not on the same level as the puggle (even the name is cute!). The natural first question people ge

Reality TV Tips for Writing

by Leah Hultenschmidt, Senior Editor I admit it: one of my favorite summertime guilty pleasures is So You Think You Can Dance.  There's something really special about helping discover amazing new talent.  Kinda like when reading submissions, come to think of it.  If you've ever seen the show, you know it's not always the most talented dancer who wins the day.  And I do think there are a number of lessons applicable to  writers from the show-- 1. You have to be good at what you do.  There's no denying that you have to be a great  dancer to make the top 20 on the show.  The dancers prActice and hone their craft for years before trying out.  Same with writers. Have patience.  Get better.  Dont give up.  Become amazing. 2. The dancers who go the farthest on the show aren't just great dancers; they have distinctive personalities or styles or stories that separate them from the pack. Remember Mark, who did an amazing bird routine?  He didn't win, but

The Dog Days of Summer

By Robin Kaye Summer with my family is busy. This summer—it’s downright crazy. Since Memorial Day weekend, we’ve had two birthdays--here is one of the presents. A Puggle named Pepper. I know, we were crazy to get my 15 year-old a puppy, but you gotta admit, she's adorable! A handfull, but cute as can be. Especially when she's sleeping. A few days after we came home with Pepper, I flew off to Florida for an amazing book signing (with ten other authors) for B & L Books, in Altamonte Springs for their 25th Anniversary celebration!  Here's a picture of me and Dena Russ who is the absolute best bookseller ever! (Dena's the pretty one on the left.) They even had a cake with all our pictures and book covers on it. How cool is that? It not only looked great, but it tasted pretty darn good too! I got home and less than a week later, my son Tony graduated from high school. I told him we'd either have a wake or a graduation par