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Showing posts from February, 2015

How I Desserted My Family

That's right, I said "desserted." With the double-s that means something delicious is in the works. See, I'm getting close to a book deadline, which usually means I become less mentally present, unlikely to remember mealtimes, and prone to disappear into my office in the evenings. (Ok, I guess I mean "deserted" too.) My husband has become used to life with a writer, and my daughter is getting there. Still, I figured I owed them a cake. I love to bake, and I'm a sucker for recipes printed in the newspaper alongside pretty pictures. So when I saw a recipe for a cake made in a slow cooker , I had to try it. Look how pretty the picture! And cake! In a slow cooker! I didn't even know this was possible. It was easy to mix up the batter, and after four hours in the slow cooker, it had steamed into something that sort of looked like it might be done. When it failed to turn neatly out of its pot, a friend and I took a kitchen spoon to it. Nothing like

Proud Author Moments (plus chocolate fountains)

Being a writer is 90% writing/daydreaming/plotting/talking-thinking books and 10% reminding yourself the rest of the world exists, or so it seems to me. So last weekend, I took some time out to have a girl's weekend away with my mum and two sisters, just to reconnect. Re-enactment of myself with chocolate fountain For Christmas, I'd gotten them tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Totem (and one for me too!), and mum had tickets to High Tea at the Windsor Hotel in Melbourne, so we definitely made a weekend of it. The High Tea was amazing. They brought out little trays with scones and sandwiches, and you had your choice of champagnes and different tea varieties. I ate my little heart out... and then realised there was a dessert buffet! Instant regret over the sandwiches. You name it, and it was on the dessert buffet. They even had a chocolate fountain. That night the streets were awash with thousands of people (over 500,000 to be more precise) for the Wh

The Court of Annwyn continues with a free read!

There are three more Annwyn books out this year (yay!) And while the covers look very pretty they hide something darker as these three books look more closely at the banished fairies living in our world. Darklings, kelpies and changelings with magic to die for. After spending the first three books following the drama in Annwyn it was nice to bring the focus back to our world, especially after the plagues at the end of To Love a King. So there is a bit of a dystopian feel as the world recovers. The best thing is if you haven’t read the first three books, you can jump in now and I have a free short story available to give you a taste of Annywn and my fairies. The Tenth Life of Vicki Torres A Court of Annwyn short story Is he saving the cat or is the cat saving him? Seth expected the world to end in wars and bombings, not in a plague. When he obeys his dying father and heads for their secret cabin in the mountains as arranged, he gets lonely so fast that he's willing to s

Why Vampires Were Perfectly Suited to the British Aristocracy in the Regency Era.

Hi, I'm Regency Paranomal Romance Author, Brooklyn Ann. My books feature unconventional heroines finding unconventional romance with peers who have fangs. I figured today I'd share why that works so well for me.  Vampires were perfectly suited for the British Aristocracy, which was a major reason why I put them in Regency ballrooms in my Scandals with Bite series. Here are the reasons why that works out so well: They're night owls. Most of the balls and operas and festivities in the regency went from dusk till dawn. A vampire's nocturnal behavior would be unnoticed in this environment. The Window Tax Seriously, there was a tax on how many windows one had on their home. People often boarded up their windows to avoid the tax. This was beneficial to vampires in that no one thought it amiss if they did so to protect themselves from the sun An Age of Enlightment In an age of reason, vampires are regarded as mere folklore. This disbel

That Was The Year That Was: 1879

One thing I love about the Victorian Age is its epic scope. Choose any decade, any year, even any month, in that era and you can find something important--whether political, social, or cultural--happening and not only in England. My current project is a novella set in 1879, a prequel to my just-finished manuscript, which takes place in 1888. To get the ball rolling, I entered the date on Wikipedia to see which events had shaped that year--with fascinating results. Here are just a few important things that happened in 1879. 1) The Anglo-Zulu War: Given the spread of colonialism and size of its empire, it was no surprise to learn that Britain was at war, somewhere in the world. This conflict involved the Kingdom of Zululand in South Africa, was marked by a number of bloody battles, and lasted from January to July, when the British defeated the Zulus at Ulundi. But one of the most notable casualties of the war was Napoleon, Prince Imperial of France, the twenty-three year

The Gift That Keeps on Giving by Victoria Roberts

On Valentine's Day, Mr. Roberts was kind enough to give the whole family the gift that keeps on giving. The flu . Yep, the entire Roberts clan is down with the sickness. As I sit here curled up with an afghan, hot cup of tea, and box of tissues, I'm gazing out the window at the sub zero temperatures and wondering if this brutal torture will ever come to an end. I live in Pittsburgh, and gloomy winter days are what this time of year is all about. Yeah, well, I'm done with that. Finished. I've had enough. Bring on the sun and my 70 degree weather. My poor dog, Zoe, won't even brave the cold. Once we let her out the front door, she quickly does her business, then bolts around the back of the house to be let back in--all in less than one minute. lol Due to this lovely weather upon us, my kids haven't had school for the past two days. My husband is in construction and hasn't worked for the past two days. And guess what? On top of that and the flu, every

Setting the Fire

by M. L. Buchman I have to admit, I love release day for a new work. I remember in 1997 holding my first novel in my shaking hands. I can tell you exactly how my wife and I were standing when we held my first indie release in 2010 and my first Night Stalkers novel in 2012. Thirty novels and over a dozen short stories later, the feeling hasn't flagged in the slightest. I've tried to describe this moment to non-writer's many times. The best I've ever come up with was the day I bought my first house. It was old (1911), run-down (it had been a rental for 20+ years), and I was totally enamored of it. (The fact that it took me 7 years to fix the beastie up to look like this a whole  different story that starts with an amazing view from the 2nd story...back before I added the second story.) The feeling though, at that moment when the door swung open, before I crossed the threshold, was a moment of such joy and anticipation and hope and fear that I never expected to f


I just came from a conference with the Florida Romance Writers, and I’m looking forward to a very busy year. I’ll be attending the RT Booklovers Convention and RWA Nationals of course, also Book Expo America. In addition to those mega conferences, I’ll be going to Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans conference, and to the Orange County RWA later in the year. Asa Marie Bradley and Deb Werksman at Florida RWA conference   Here’s what made the conference in Florida so great: The authors were well prepared The chapter had run a pitch training session, so everyone was prepared with a smooth and effective pitch. I could tell they had worked on them, shared them with others, and polished their pitches. BTW, I don’t have any problem with an author reading her pitch to me. It shows a level of preparation and polishing that I can appreciate. Another thing that was great is that the authors understood the difference between a pitch and a pl

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

This week my favorite TV show, History Channel's Vikings , will introduce season 3. I'm a fervent fan, but my Viking fascination began back in the early 1990s. Over time, I cultivated an off-beat home library --- including a cookbook on Viking Age meals written by two Swedish history professors. Vikings Lagertha played by Kathryn Winnick. Photo credit History Channel The first romance I ever wrote was based on a little known event in Sweden (AD 1022) ---the end of the Viking Age. The more I dug into Viking history and culture, the more amazed I became. But, would you think of Vikings and a sense of humor? Let me share this true Viking tale and see what you find. I call it: Putting Your Best Forward Early in the tenth century, famed Viking Rollo and his warriors, camped out on the Seine. Like foxes they came to raid the chicken coop once again. The plan was to take their fill of silver and gold and leave...not unusual for this group of Northmen. After endu

Japanese Cover of THE FIRE LORD'S LOVER By Kathryne Kennedy

A big thank you to Rights Manager Sara Hartman-Seeskin for the sale of the foreign rights to Japan for THE FIRE LORD'S LOVER...AND for sending me a copy of the book. Here's a copy of the Japanese cover: How cool is that? I lived several years in Okinawa when my dad was in the Air Force, and have fond memories of the people and island, so this is especially thrilling for me. My son has a friend who is studying the Japanese language, and I'm looking forward to her translating some of the book to me. It will be fascinating to hear how my voice has changed (although I imagine much will be in the hands of the translator, hence her name right by mine on the cover). It's interesting that the book is about 2/3 the size of an American paperback. It also has a dust jacket, which you usually only see on hardcover books. Have I mentioned lately how much I adore my publisher, Sourcebooks? Below is a picture of my family in Okinawa, and the backside of me running a

That's So Romantic!

Happy Valentine's Day from the Casablanca Authors! Today we're chatting about what says romance to us. Shana Galen For me, it's thoughtfulness, like when my husband pours me a glass of wine because he can see I've had a hard day or empties the dishwasher without me asking. I appreciate a nice box of chocolates and flowers too! Grand gestures are fabulous (I want to read about some!), but romance is in the small things for me. Gina Conkle I'm with Shana, small gestures and kindness make my heart sing. I knew Brian (my husband) was  The One because being with him I felt understood. He paid attention to what made me happy. He listened and responded in ways that told me he got me...he knew what made me tick. I was bowled over when we were dating and he'd show up at my apartment to cook a nice dinner for me. The romance lives on. He'll notice changes in my mood and say, "You need some alone time, don't you?" That's code for: You wa