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Showing posts from July, 2012

Celebrating Hot Olympic Athletes! (by Catherine Mann)

I was always picked last for teams in gym class. And honestly, I can’t blame my classmates. I am woefully uncoordinated. I daydream and walk into walls, stumble off curbs. I’ve learned to shrug and dust myself off. However, while I’m comfortable in my clumsy skin, I do enjoy seeing others excel in sports. The Olympic Games in London are playing on my flat screen TV as I type, providing plenty of inspiration for our July theme of all things HOT! With that in mind, I’m celebrating a few especially hot Olympic athletes! Nick Symmonds (Runner) Ryan Lochte (Swimmer) Jordan Burroughs (Wrestler) And for you historical fans.... Soren Thompson (Fencer) Whew! (Fanning myself!) Let the games begin!! ~*~*~*~ What’s your favorite Olympic sport in the summer or winter games? One winner will be chosen at random from the comments on Monday, August 6, 2012. Winner will receive a copy of my books UNDER FIRE (Sourcebooks) and AN INCONVENIENT AFFAIR (Harlequin Desire.) US


I’m sharing some sultry excerpt teasers from the RELICS OF MERLIN series for our ‘hot’ theme on the Casablanca blog this month! The series takes place in a magical Victorian London, where titles are based on magical ability, and shape-shifters are lowly baronets with an immunity to magic that the upper aristocracy fears, and a gift for hunting Merlin’s enchanted relics. Although the books stand alone, I’m showing them in the order they were written. I’m starting with ENCHANTING THE LADY, which Sourcebooks will be re-releasing next month with a fabulous new cover:    His full lips curved in a smile, the tips of his incisors showing at the corners. His eyes roamed her face, as if suddenly freed of some restraint. “You laugh at my jokes,” he whispered. “You defend my kind to your aunt and uncle’s friends. When my temper flares, you soothe it with a look. When I’m sunk in gloomy thoughts, you tease me until they fade. How can I resist you? How much longer can I fight the impulses

Hot, Hot, HOT?

I'm leaving California today after having a terrific time at RWA Nationals. I got to see several old friends and make a few new ones, in addition to learning all kinds of new things that should improve my writing. I'm already looking forward to next year in Atlanta, where I'm sure it'll be a lot hotter there than it was in Anaheim! I'd always thought the weather in southern California would really be hot, but it's been mostly in the 70's, and after the 100+ temps back home in Indiana, it feels downright chilly here. I can't wait to see my family, but I can do without the heat. A little rain would be a nice touch, too! One thing that has come out of this conference is that there will be another book in the Cat Star Chronicles series after Wildcat. This one is currently titled Rascal, but you know how that titling process goes. No telling what it'll be called by the time it's released in February 2014. I'm hoping it'l
When You Give a Girl a Hot Duke by Shana Galen I write about dukes and spies and pirates during the Regency era. The word “hot” as used in terms of sexiness wasn’t in use in my period.But that doesn’t mean I don’t think about what it takes to make my classic heroes hot to modern readers. Obligatory ab photo In my upcoming book, When You Give a Duke a Diamond , the Duke of Pelham is not one of my typical hot heroes. He’s not a spy or a pirate or any profession associated with hotness. He’s a duke. He has a lot of responsibilities. He takes them seriously. Perhaps a bit too seriously. But I hope that by the end of the book, you’ll see that even a stodgy duke can have some pretty hot qualities. For starters, he has really nice eyes. They’re blue, and my heroine absolutely cannot look at him without admiring his eyes. He also has a nice house, and he takes care of it. When I was in college, nothing turned me off faster than a cute guy who had a di

I'm Getting Older! Yikes!

While many of my writer friends are busy networking and buzzing to and from workshops, book signings, and banquets at RWA National in Anaheim, I'm at home having my own celebration. You see, today is my birthday. I turn [age redacted] years old. Like I'd really tell you all my real age. :) Then again, I've been twenty-nine for let's just say quite a few years. I know the theme this month is heat, but I figured that if I actually put the correct amount of candles on my birthday cake, it'll more than likely get pretty darned hot in here. In a way, it's kind of cool to celebrate a birthday on the opening day of the Olympics. Even if those Olympics are taking place in London--a place I've dreamt of visiting all my life. Oh well, I'll get that chance some day, I'm sure. Until then, I can live vicariously through the coverage on the telly--Wow! I already have the lingo down.  Hey, maybe if I blow out all the candles on the cake, I can wish mys

Hot weather? Escape with hot writing

I was asked why, with my background as a psychiatric nurse, I decided to write light paranormal romances instead of something grittier, like murder mysteries… Well, the easy answer is—because writers like to escape as much as readers do. I worked in the psychiatric field for fifteen years. When I left, I was jaded and burned out. It took a while to get back to my old self, but I finally did. Sure, I have stories to tell, but I don’t want to. Simple as that. I might violate the confidentiality aspect too. I heard intimate secrets that would make your skin crawl…and I was told those things because my patients knew they could trust me. Sure, they might never read one of my books, but can you imagine doing so and recognizing your story? Patients want to forget about grim reality too—especially theirs! However, all that experience contributed to my writing in one important way. With a degree in behavioral sciences (a psychology-sociology combo) and having observed people for

The Jungle is Heating up with Jaguars! by Terry Spear

First, you have that predatory look. It's time for some action-packed loving--the jungle's hot, but it gets hotter when the jaguars arrive.   A Jaguar at Edinburgh Zoo .  Hmm, maybe there are Highland jaguar shifters in Scotland! All that golden skin, lovely black rosettes, whiskers that sense even the slightest movement in the air current, and he's watching you sitting up in that tree, intending to join you soon. So be ready. He wants some kitty-cat comfort. And you're ready. So here's the first of the jaguar men. He's looking for you. Protective and caring. Savage Hunger  Hot and yummy. Yet comfortable in either of his forms. And here's the next one, who's just as intrigued with you. JAGUAR FEVER Thanks to Sourcebooks for combining wolves and jaguars on a book mark for conference! They're beautiful! They look so nice with my watermelon red crepe myrtles in full bloom in the Texas heat! You don&#

Baby, It's Hot Outside

by Olivia Cunning I've been in my new home in Galveston for almost three weeks now. Here's what I've learned so far: 1. Driving down Seawall Boulevard on the weekend is life-threatening. Have you ever seen someone do a U-turn across three lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic, so they could parallel park on the opposite side of a four-lane road? I have. More than once. 2. Half of the state of Texas congregates in Galveston Walmart at ten a.m. on Saturday mornings. Not fun. I guess I didn't need ice cream that badly. Lesson learned. 3. It's hot outside, baby. For the entire month, it's been a consistent 90 degrees with 80 percent humidity. It doesn't even cool down at night. There is some relief when it rains, but within half an hour it's back to 90 and then all that rain evaporates and we end up with 90 percent humidity. I don't mind heat. Really, I don't. Humidity doesn't bother me much, either. Yes, my hair currently looks like it had a

What's Hot and What's Not

by Amanda Forester I am so excited to be going next week to the Romance Writers of America annual conference in Anaheim, CA.   In my excitement to have access to a pool, I decided to take a chance and purchase a bathing suit. Now I have kids, so shopping alone is not always possible. So I ended up trying on bathing suits with two kids "helping" me pick the right suit. Let's just say if I suffered from false pride, I have been cured. Here's a sample of some of the ever so tactful statements uttered by my loving cherubs.          "Ewww, is it supposed to look like that?"          "I see your tummy sticking out."          "Too much tushy, mommy, too much tushy!"          "You don't look like the picture on the tag."                    "Don't you want us to tell you the truth?" Um, no, I really don't want the truth. So if you need to be grounded (translate: humbled, humiliated, mortified)

So Hot It Sizzles…

By Robin Kaye Heat—Lord knows we’ve had enough of it in Maryland lately. When I found out the topic for the month was heat, I wasn’t thrilled. I really not a person who like temperatures to rise above seventy-five degrees unless there’s fifteen percent humidity, and if you’ve ever been to Maryland, you’d know that it’s not known for low humidity. It’s been well over a hundred here for several days and I’ve had just about all the heat I can stand. Then I thought about my characters and how they feel about heat. Now that’s an entirely different story. They love the heat—and no, I’m not talking about the weather. Heat is the one ingredient that every romance must have. Yes, even the Amish ones. There has to be that attraction, that spark, that threat of internal combustion for two characters to even want to get to know more about each other. So how do we put that on the page? I haven’t a clue. I just start writing and it happens. Honest. I know, that’s not hel

Red Hot ARC Giveaway!

Happy Friday, everyone! Macy Beckett here, and if you haven't noticed, our topic this month on the Casa Blog is HEAT. Oh, the possibilities! I could blog about this: Who doesn't love MAGIC MIKE? (Source: Or this: Macy's toes on vacation! But I'd rather CRANK UP THE HEAT with a giveaway! I have an ARC of Sultry with a Twist  in my hot little hands, and I'm giving it to one lucky commenter . Win me, baby!  Welcome to Sultry Springs, where first loves find second chances... When June Augustine hightailed it out of Sultry Springs, Texas, with her heart in pieces, she swore she'd never return. But nine years later, one thing stands between June and her dream of opening an upscale martini bar: a month of community service under the supervision of the devilishly sexy Luke Gallagher, her first love and ex-best friend. As lust turns to love, June must decide where she belongs: in the glorious anonymity of Austin or back in Sultry Spring

How to Make the Most of Pitching at RWA

by Deb Werksman Editorial Manager, Sourcebooks Casablanca At the upcoming RWA National Conference in Anaheim, I’ll have the privilege of being among the agents and editors who will be holding sessions to hear book pitches from authors. I’m incredibly excited to talk to authors about their books, so know going in that:           a) I’m really receptive and excited to hear from you           b) I don’t expect you to be a great pitcher—I’m hoping you’re a great writer           c) Being nervous won’t take away from your pitch—I’m going to be listening for your book to meet my editorial criteria, not to see if you can deliver a good pitch to me under intense circumstances Here are a few tips that will help you get the most out of your pitch session: Research the editor, agent and house ahead of time and make sure your book is a good fit. (For example, I acquire single title romance and women’s fiction. I’m interested in all sub-genres and curren

Fifty Shades of Surprised

I’ve said this on more than one occasion. I’m often the last one to jump on the hottest new thing. Call me skeptical, but just because something is hot doesn’t mean I’m going to rush headlong into buying it. Apparently all those warnings about not jumping off a bridge just because everyone else is doing it stuck. Thanks, Mom! Nevertheless, not long ago I caved in and started reading “Fifty Shades of Grey” for two reasons. One, I listened to a podcast on Slate discussing the book, and it piqued my interest. The conversation was an intelligent critique of the story and romance in general. Plus, the podcast made me laugh. Secondly, my husband bought the book for me, so I started reading it. I know this book is a hot button topic for many authors, so I don’t want to start a discussion about fan fiction, quality of writing, etc. All I’ll say about it is writing is tough and books don’t write themselves. We each do the best we can at different stages in our development. Any work th

Becoming One with the Heat

There's a phrase I read years ago about hiking through a marshland. The author said that you finally just give in and become one with the mud. Heat is like that. I wilt and I melt and I whimper, and then I take a half dozen friends hiking up Breakneck Ridge overlooking the Hudson on a 105-degree day. Okay, I was also much younger and stupider then, but weren't we all. And it was an amazing hike! (And I got a great girlfriend out of it too. ) I often think about that day as I now live in the temperate Pacific NW where going out of doors on those few rare 90-degree days of the year is unimaginable. Of course, on the hottest day so far this year, my wife and I did decide to voyage forth on a 4-mile hill walk through one of Portland's oldest neighborhoods. It was a great hike! Of course any time spent with my wife is. (Yes, there's a reason I'm a guy writing romance.) Well, this summer I get to double the heat. Book 2 of my Night Stalkers series is launching from So

Escaping the Heat....

Escaping the heat….. Isn’t it funny how we always want what we don’t have?   It seems like just yesterday I was shivering and longing for warm weather to come and rescue me from double soaks! Now that it’s here, that summer sunshine, I find myself concocting way to escape to cooler climates. One of my favorite things to do when it’s hot is go to sea. There is something about being out on the water that cools me off. Okay, maybe it’s just the sight of all those wave caps that does the trick or maybe it’s the sea breeze. I’m not sure it matters. One of my favorite research materials are logs from people at sea. There is a tranquility out on the water that inspires deep thoughts. The ocean also has a way of reducing a person to their core, stripping away all the things they thought were important and leaving them facing what they really long for. Inside the pages of a seventeenth century sailor’s diary, you’ll find letters to his sweetheart and delicate black and white sk

Can someone turn up the heat?

While you are all enjoying summer it’s the middle of winter in Oz. Not that Perth gets really cold (I was freezing my butt of at RT in Chicago), but when the temperature drops below 65F we break out the scarves and jackets. I know some of you are now laughing, and I do too as I grew up in Tasmania were anything over 70F was a summer day. Since the weather isn’t making me feel warm I went looking for some hot heroes. I’ve just discovered the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearn. It’s urban fantasy and the hero is a two thousand year old tattooed Druid. (If you’ve read ‘Kiss of the Goblin Prince’ you know tattoos and magic are my kind of thing in a fictional hero). Spartacus: Vengeance DVDs are about to arrive in my mail box any day now (runs out and checks again). I pre-ordered the series as I missed the start of it while I was travelling in the US (for those of you in the US scratching your head and wondering why I’m so far behind we get everything months late in OZ). I love this s