Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Year's Resolutions -- How'd I Do?

Just for fun, I thought I'd take a peek at my resolutions from last year and see how I did. Ha! I crack myself up...

1. Write every day. May have to participate in Club 100 just to kick start the habit again.
Nope. Got an unexpected, new day job in January that killed my writing schedule. Love the job, hate the lack of writing time.
2. Write at least two new manuscripts in 2007.
Wrote one, edited two for publication.
3. Sell at least two manuscripts in 2007.
Yep.
4. Start up the great agent safari once again.
Nope.
5. Turn my website over to someone who knows what they're doing. I love fiddling with my site but it's time to let the professionals take over!
Uhhh...obviously, I have control issues. Nope.
6. Work out, for real, three times a week minimum. No more "lowest setting on the recumbent bike so I can read" fake-outs.
:: whistles, twiddles thumbs, looks off innocently into the distance... ::
7. In the same vein, actually WIN the Wellness Challenge in at least one category this year. I'm tired of missing first place by two or three points. I'm in it for the COIN, baby!
Second again. Sigh.
8. Find and destroy the cobwebs before DH can point them out.
(Better not let him see this list...)
9. Continue Date Night at least once a month with DH.
Actually did pretty well with this one. Missed a couple, but not for lack of trying.
10. Start planning meals more than an hour in advance, and limit eating out to no more than once a week.
Dang! Did I actually write this one down? Better put it on this year's list.
11. Create a business and promo plan, and stick to it.
Kinda sorta, though I know I need a better one...
12. Keep up with birthdays and anniversaries.
Fairly good at this one.
13. Read more romance! (Okay, I'll fess up. I threw this one in there so I'd be sure to accomplish at least one goal this year.)
Aaaand I was right! :)

Now on to this year's list. I'll keep it simple:
1. Write more frequently.
2. Finish at least two books.
3. Sell at least two books.
4. Improve healthy living -- exercise more, eat right.
5. Be better about participating on lists, blogs, etc.
6. Read more romance! (I think I'll keep this one on my list every year. It's so nice to know I'll actually reach one of my goals!)

How about you? Any resolutions?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!




Sunday, December 30, 2007

Save Big at MBaM!

Did you miss picking up any Samhain titles this year? Is there something you've been waiting to read? Now's the time to head over to My Bookstore and More to grab some great reads. This week only (which I think means before Tuesday), every e-book is 15% off. If you haven't purchased a copy of Home For Christmas yet, it's now only $2.13!


I just stocked up on some books I'd been meaning to buy for a while, so I'm ready for long, rainy January days. How about you?


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Done, Done, Done, Done

It's done.

I finished my book last night, at about 1:30 am (does that make it this morning? I don't think I've gone to bed before 2 am since Christmas Eve, so I really can't tell anymore). Typed the last line, saved it to my thumb drive, loaded it on the computer that's hooked to the Internet, and sent it off to my beta reader.

Now I'm just waiting for the response so I can fix any glaring errors before sending it to my lovely, understanding, patient editor. Did I mention patient?

So I'm actually surfing the net tonight, polishing up an old article I forgot to send to the family magazine I write for from time to time (it's a 'how to travel with kids' article, and if it's not sent in before the end of the year, I can't write off the trip on my taxes), enjoying a nice glass of Gewurztraminer, and thinking about going to bed before midnight.

Ah, bliss!

And speaking of bliss, the Powers that Be finally posted my newest cover over on the Samhain Coming Soon pages, and I'm absolutely delighted to be able to share it! Isn't it yummy?
This is the follow-on book to Lessons In Love, and it's scheduled for release on February 26.

Hope everyone is having a nice, relaxing, stress-free evening.

Friday, December 28, 2007

EEEEEEE!!!!!!

My apologies to all everyone on the west coast of the US tonight. If you happened to sustain hearing loss from my unbridled squealing, it was certainly unintentional.


But I just had to squeeee. One of my best buds, and a fabulous writer, called to tell me she'd sold her first book to Samhain!


Yay, M!


So, I can't tell you the name of the book or when it's coming out or even what name she'll be publishing under. At least not yet, until everything is nailed down. But I can tell you I've read the manuscript, and it totally rocks, and I'm just counting down the days until it's out.


Anyway, I'll be back in a day or so once I finish this latest book (only 6K left to go! Whew!), with more fun news (and hopefully more deets on the sale). Hope everyone had an excellent holiday season, and that you have fun stuff to look forward to this weekend!

Monday, December 24, 2007

BLOG PARTY WINNERS!

Sorry, guys. Holiday stuff and a looming deadline kept me off the Internet for the most part until now. But the cookies are baked, the presents are wrapped, and the book is almost done (yay! My editor will be so pleased!), so without further ado...


The winners of the Home For Christmas blog party!


1. Winner of a download of Home For Christmas:

NJ Walters!


2. Winner of a Christmas ornament, stocking and assorted goodies:

Jane!


3. Winner of a handcrafted fabric mini purse and butterfly keychain:

Tetewa!


4. Winner of an autographed copy of The Perfect Gift:

Cathy!


Congratulations to all! E-mail me either your mailing address or your preferred e-book format, and I'll get those posted ASAP.


And happy holidays, everyone!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Book BIN, um, Wednesday...

Yes, I'm late with this post. (Okay, it's still Tuesday here, but not for long, and by the time anyone else reads it I'm sure it'll be Wednesday...) We've been running hither and yon for piano recitals, school concerts, holiday pageants, and on and on and on...


But without further ado (what? No ado? Horrors!), my Book BIN recommendation for this week is:


Do you really have to ask? :)


Home For Christmas is on sale now!


And when I say on sale, I really mean ON SALE. As in, only $2.25. Isn't that great?


Perfect price for a pre-Christmas stocking stuffer, wouldn't you say?


And thanks to everyone for hanging out with me during my pre-release Blog Party. I had fun, and hope you did too!


One more question for the fun of it -- one more chance to comment and enter to win! I'll post the winners of the contest either later today or Thursday.


So here it is -- what one present would you love to receive this holiday season?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Blog Party -- Excerpt #2 (it's almost here!)


Just a few short hours until Home For Christmas goes on sale! To fill those hours, here's another excerpt to enjoy. It's from a bit earlier in the book.


Home For Christmas

c 2007 Kate Davies

Samhain Publishing


Ethan hefted the evergreen wreath out of the back of the SUV, grimacing a little at the unexpected weight. The guy at the tree lot had tossed it in there like it was made of tissue paper. How in the heck was this monstrosity supposed to stay put? He’d lay even money that it would fall right off the door hanger from the sheer bulk of it.
Oh, well. It still looked nice, and Sophia would be able to figure out what to do with it. She was a genius at those things.
A smile softened the line of his mouth. He could just see her, soft wavy brown hair bundled up on the top of her head, little bits of it curling down around her face like she’d completely forgotten it was up there. Her hazel eyes would light up with surprise when she saw the wreath, and she’d say—
“What are you doing here?”
Ethan looked up. He wasn’t even to the porch yet, still wrestling the decoration up her walkway, but she’d already opened the door.
“Merry Christmas.” He heaved the wreath another foot or two. “Brought you an early present.”
“Uh, thank you.” Her eyes darted from side to side. “You really shouldn’t have.”
Concentrating on the wreath, Ethan almost missed the tone of her voice. She sounded—upset. Distracted. Not at all like the sweet, positive Sophia he knew.
“You okay?” Finally at the porch, he leaned the wreath against the railing and climbed the steps. He brushed a curl away from her face. “You don’t seem like yourself.”
“I, uh—”
A thud resounded from inside the door, and Sophia’s daughter poked her head out. “That’s the last of them—hey!” She rushed over to give him a hug. “I’m so glad you’re here!”
“Thanks,” he said. “What are you doing here? I thought you were on your way across state with lover boy.”
She smacked him on the shoulder, just as she did every time he called Robert that. “We’re heading out in a few minutes. In fact, I have to get going. Maybe you can talk some sense into Mom.”
“What?” His head swiveled from daughter to mother. “What are you talking about?”
Samantha glared at her mother. “You haven’t told him yet?”
“Samantha,” Sophia said, shooting her a look that was full of warning.
Sam let out a huge gust of a sigh, then gave her mom a hug. “Can’t say I didn’t try.”
“I love you. Be safe,” Sophia said.
“You too,” Samantha said, which made no sense. How much trouble could Sophia get into here at home?
Especially when he’d be keeping an eye on things, like always?
Sam gave him another hug, pausing long enough to whisper “call my cell” in his ear when Sophia wasn’t looking. Then she was off the porch and in her car before he could ask her why the hell she was acting like a double agent.
Shaking his head, he turned back to Sophia. “Tell me what?”
“Hmm?” She was fussing with the red velvet bow at the top of the wreath.
“Sophia.” He waited until she looked up. “Samantha asked if you’d told me yet. Told me what?”
“Oh, nothing.” She bit her lip. Then, squaring her shoulders, she said, “No, that’s not true. Samantha is mad at me for making some plans for the holidays.”
“She’s going to be gone, anyway. Why would she have any say in it?”
“Exactly what I said!” Sophia smiled at him. “I knew you’d understand.”
She’d been smiling at him for over a decade now, since he and Dan started their property management business together. It was only in the last six months or so that it had started knocking him on his ass.
Even now, his breath hitched when she turned the full wattage of her smile on him.
He cleared his throat. “So what kind of plans?”
“Oh, you know.” She waved one hand, as if that explained everything. “Just wanted to do something…different this year.”
Ethan nodded. Last Christmas had been hellish for all concerned.
“So I—”
A honking horn interrupted whatever she was going to say. A flash of—was it relief?—washed across Sophia’s face.
“There’s my ride!”
Ethan turned, confused, to see the airport courtesy van idling in the driveway behind his SUV. “Your ride?”
By the time he looked back, Sophia was already locking the front door, several suitcases piled around her feet. “With the new check-in procedures, I want to be sure to get there in plenty of time.”
“Check in? Get where? Where are you going?”
She hesitated. “On an adventure,” she said finally.
“And adven— Sophia, have you lost your mind?”
“Probably,” she said, a dimple appearing in her left cheek. “Don’t worry. I’ll tell you all about it when I get back.”
“Get back from where?” He couldn’t seem to do much more than repeat what she’d just said, but damned if she hadn’t completely pulled the rug out from under him. “What about Christmas?”
Her gaze softened and she placed one gloved hand on his cheek. “I’m sorry to do this in this way,” she said. “I know it’s not very fair of me.”
The driver beeped his horn again. Didn’t the jerk understand this was important?
Sophia was busy gathering her suitcases, though it was obvious she wouldn’t be able to carry all of them in one trip. With a mounting sense of dread, Ethan picked up the last two and followed her to the van.
The driver got out to stow the bags. Sophia started to climb into the van, but Ethan stopped her with a hand on her arm.
“Can’t you at least tell me where you’re going?”
She shook her head, tears shining in her eyes. “I’m sorry, I can’t. This is something I have to do on my own.”
Ethan just stared at her. It was as if she’d turned into a stranger overnight. Who was this woman, and what had she done with his Sophia?
She leaned down and kissed him on the cheek. “I’ll explain everything when I get back.” Then she vanished into the van.
He watched in disbelief as the van pulled out of the driveway and trundled down the road. His Sophia. Who was he kidding? She was as much a mystery to him now as she’d ever been.
Probably more.
Eyes narrowed, he grabbed his cell phone and dialed Samantha.
She answered in one ring.
“Okay, kiddo, I think it’s time someone told me what the hell is going on.”

Blog Party -- Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!

Not a long post to start the day -- just a shout-out to my DH on our 13th wedding anniversary. So glad we're on this journey together. Love you!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Blog Party -- Never Seen Before Excerpt!


Since you guys have been great about stopping by and posting during my blog party, I thought I'd put up an excerpt that hasn't been posted ANYWHERE yet. Enjoy!


HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
e-book, December 18, Samhain Publishing
Now in print in THE PERFECT GIFT anthology
(c) 2007 Kate Davies


She still couldn’t believe he was here, on board the ship. Her first glimpse of him had told her more about her own feelings than she had acknowledged up until that point. Because as much as she pretended to be angry with him for intruding on her act of independence, the first emotion she’d felt when she saw him was pure, unadulterated relief.

Followed very closely by a hefty dose of lust.
Sophia pressed a hand to her middle, trying to hold back the attack of nerves that threatened to overtake her. She was in her mid-forties, for heaven’s sake. She was a widow with a grown

daughter. She wasn’t supposed to be panting after good old reliable Ethan.

But “supposed to” had all but disappeared from her vocabulary over the past few weeks as she’d planned her trip. She’d made a conscious choice to grab hold of what she wanted, to make it happen.

What she wanted, she had to admit, was Ethan. The fact that he was here was a hint that he might not object to being grabbed.

What if she was misreading the situation? What if he really was only here out of some misplaced sense of obligation to her—or, worse, to her late husband?

Oh, God, if he was here to keep an eye on her because he felt it was what Dan would have wanted…

No. She wouldn’t think like that. She couldn’t.

A knock at the door pulled her attention away from the swirling turmoil of her thoughts. “Just a minute,” she called, picking her wrap up from the bed where she’d discarded it. Then she opened the door.

Ethan was standing there, looking at her with a combination of intensity and something she couldn’t quite name. “You look beautiful.”

“So do you,” she replied, then laughed. “Or, well, handsome.”

“Thanks.” He smiled. “Either works for me.”

He wore a long-sleeved, cranberry-colored knit shirt with black slacks, maybe a bit too warm for the humid night, but the combination of casual and pulled together just looked right on him. His hair, still a little damp from the shower, curled a bit at the temples. A rush of desire, so strong she could almost touch it, washed through her.

He smiled, a slow, lazy grin that warmed her from the inside out. “Ready to go?”

“Sure,” she said, slipping past him through the doorway. It was a tight fit, and her shoulder brushed against his chest as she exited the room.

Even that little touch made her a bit weak in the knees, and he put a hand on her elbow to steady her. “I’ve heard it takes a while to get your sea legs,” he murmured.

She smiled weakly and closed the door behind her. The seismic shift in their relationship was so big, she wasn’t sure if she’d ever find her balance again.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Blog Party -- Home For Christmas Blurb!


Home for Christmas is a bit of a departure for me -- set during the holidays, older hero and heroine, and taking place on a cruise ship. But all those elements add up to a story I really enjoyed writing, and hope you'll enjoy reading!


Here's the blurb for the book...


She left everything familiar behind – but love found her anyway.

Sophia is determined to spend Christmas on her own terms this year. Her daughter will be spending the holidays with her boyfriend's family, and Sophia has no intention of staying home alone with her memories.

She knows Ethan would be more than happy to keep her company. But he's her business partner – and her late husband's best friend. It's past time to stop leaning on him and learn to stand on her own two feet. A cruise to the Caribbean might be just the ticket to discovering who she is now, and what she really wants.

Ethan is stunned to discover that Sophia has decided to go on a cruise for Christmas – alone. He'd thought that something more was finally developing between the two of them. If she's ready to move on after the loss of her husband, he'll be damned if he lets her move on without him!

On the spur of the moment, Ethan books a stateroom, determined to prove to Sophia that what they have goes far beyond friendship. The romantic atmosphere of the cruise sparks a passion the two had only dreamed of before – but can their fledgling relationship survive beyond the vacation of a lifetime?

Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language (but don’t tell my mom).

Setting the story on a cruise ship was great fun--I got to dive into an enjoyable research topic, and do a little daydreaming at the same time. I've never been on a cruise, especially for Christmas, but I'd sure love to go sometime.


If you could spend the holidays anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Blog Party -- Thirteen Things About Home For Christmas!

Welcome to day two of the Kate Davies Home For Christmas Blog Party! In honor of Thursday Thirteen, here are thirteen things you may not know about Home for Christmas, my upcoming release from Samhain Publishing.

1. It's my first Christmas-themed story.
2. It's included in THE PERFECT GIFT, the 2007 Samhain holiday anthology.
3. It's one of the only books by Samhain to be released in print first, then e-book.
4. THE PERFECT GIFT has been on the Amazon top twenty romance anthologies bestsellers list since September.
5. My mom and her best friend gave me the original idea for the story, although I've changed it so much I doubt they'll recognize it now.
6. Ethan and Sophia are both a bit older than the typical romance hero and heroine -- and I adore them because of it.
7. I love the idea of going on a Christmas cruise, though I've never had the opportunity.
8. Home For Christmas is one of five stories in THE PERFECT GIFT -- and I'm not exaggerating when I say I love each one of the other stories.
9. The brilliant Anne Cain created the cover, which I absolutely adore. It rocks.
10. I'll be sharing a blurb and some excerpts over the next couple of days.
11. There's an interview on The Romance Studio that goes into a little more detail about the book. Stop by and check it out!
12. I'll be giving away some prizes at the end of the blog party, to celebrate the release of my new book. Every comment you post is an entry into the drawing. So stop by and post!
13. The e-book version will be available on December 18!


Blog Party -- Home For Christmas Week!


...And the Countdown begins!


In just one week, Home for Christmas will be available from Samhain Publishing. And to celebrate, I'm holding a week-long blog party. I hope you'll join me!


So what is this blog party? Well, it's a Christmas-themed celebration, with excerpts, behind-the-scenes facts about the book, recipes...and, of course, presents!


What can you do to win? Drop by my blog any time between now and December 18 and post a comment. Anyone who comments is entered in a drawing to win great prizes -- free books, e-books, holiday-themed gifties...whatever I feel like giving away. And the more you post, the more entries you receive!


So stop by, post a time or two, and you could win!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Book BIN Tuesday -- Gearing Up For The Holidays!



It's a mere two weeks until Christmas, and you know what that means --

HOLIDAY ROMANCES!
Instead of focusing on a single book this week, I thought I'd recommend some of my favorites -- and ask for your suggestions in return.

I love holiday-themed romances. There's something about the combination that just tickles my fancy, whether it's a single title historical, a contemporary category, or an anthology with a little of everything.

Just a quick perusal of my keeper shelves turns up several books that fit the bill. There's Jingle Bell Rock, the first Brava anthology I ever read; It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, a category romance by Suzanne Brockmann now retitled and reissued as Hawken's Heart; Merry Christmas, Baby, a Brava anthology including stories by two of my favorite people, Lucy Monroe and Susanna Carr; The Greek's Christmas Baby, also by Lucy Monroe; and the list goes on and on.

(There's also a few copies of The Perfect Gift, the Christmas anthology I'm in. I kinda like that one, too. LOL)

So how about you? Do you like holiday romances? What are some of your favorites?

Wheeee!

Check out that lovely progress meter on the right side of my blog. Almost 50%!


This was made possible by my darling husband, who drove all over the countryside and back this weekend so I could write in the car.


Why the car? Well, with school out most of the week due to flooding, my kids were home, and I lost a *lot* of writing time to refereeing, supervising, and just plain paying attention. Not to mention that these same kids like to spend time on the computer, too.


So I was getting a little panicky, what with a looming deadline and all, so we piled into the van, plugged in the portable DVD player and my laptop car adaptor power cord, and headed for the open road.


No internet to distract me, no kids clamoring to play on the computer--and I got several thousand words written, a couple of plot problems worked out, and I'm ready to roll with the rest of the book.


It's a somewhat complicated solution to a somewhat simple problem, but it worked. So thanks, honey!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #35 -- Flood Edition



Not much to say this week, so I thought I'd let these pictures speak for me. (With a little commentary -- I *am* a writer, after all.) All these photos were taken after the devastating flooding in the Pacific Northwest this week.


Closed and guarded freeway on-ramp.


This is the most air rescues the Coast Guard has performed since Hurricane Katrina.



A fountain that's normally dry in December.


Note the speed limit sign.









No fastpitch this week!






A familiar sight.


And another one.


I hope you and yours are safe, warm, and dry.



Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I Take It Back.

Okay, can we rewind yesterday and delete my whining about the concert?


Because today I'm just so thankful to be in a warm, dry, non-flooded house, I can't believe I even worried about something so insignificant.


Oregon and Washington are absolutely DEVASTATED by the storm and flooding. I live in one of the hardest-hit areas, but we're lucky enough to be in a part of town that's above flood stage. I've spent a good portion of the day watching the news, mouth gaping open as I see people kayaking to the front door of a local store; wheelchair-bound residents being airlifted by Coast Guard helicopter in the middle of the night from the roof of a house; truckers stopped on the side of the interstate for what will likely be days because the main north-south route through the state is blocked by ten feet of water. A local park we like to go to is now almost completely underwater. (It's a little disconcerting to see "Do Not Enter/Wrong Way" signs nearly submerged.)


So. Priorities, here. Tonight, mine include giving my kids an extra hug, and sending up an extra prayer for my friends and neighbors who weren't nearly as lucky.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sob!

Sorry, no Book BIN Tuesday today. I'm too depressed.

See, we had tickets to Van Halen tonight. With David Lee Roth. The DH and I saw Van Halen a few years ago, with Sammy Hagar singing lead, and we were both looking forward to being able to compare the two shows. Plus, it's David Lee Roth! Singing Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love! (Which is my favorite Van Halen song. Even when it's a bluegrass version. Couldn't find it on YouTube, but if you scroll down on the previous link, you can listen to a clip.)

So why am I not at the concert? Oh, record floods, hurricane force winds, school closures, the main highway through the state shut down for probably the next 36 hours...

Can't really say "the usual", can I? :)

Well, it's for the best. I would *not* have liked getting to the concert venue an hour and a half away from home and discovering I couldn't get back before tomorrow night. But boy, I hated eating those tickets. Sigh.

So how's your week starting out?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A New Interview!

I'm buried by deadlines right now and will post when I can -- but I wanted to share a link to a new interview at The Romance Studio that went live this weekend. Find out more about Home for Christmas, my holiday story that comes out in e-format on December 18.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Guest Blogger - Jillian

Hi. It would seem that introductions might be in order, considering I don't really know you all. My name is Jillian and I'm an actor on a Sci-Fi series filmed in Vancouver, B.C. I used to do daytime drama in Los Angeles, but they killed off my character (after giving me a love interest and everything) to increase ratings. I have to admit that the new gig is pretty nice. So, I'm not complaining at all.


I've also found a lot of kindred spirits, or women who want to be, around my new home. When I started the "Sexual Suffragettes" I had no idea the group would grow so quickly. We've got three of them meeting in and around the city now. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Women want the freedom to be sexual beings without seeing themselves as defective and others seeing them as having loose morals.


You all get that right? It's kind of like the difference between erotica and erotic romance. I hear a lot of people have a hard time defining it, or comprehending the distinction. I'm not one of them. It's the difference between sex for the sake of sex and sex as a natural progression of emotion. You know? Living as a sexual being means that sometimes you are going to have both, but being a woman means that the emotional component makes sex more satisfying.


That's true for men too, by the way. Locker room humor aside, studies have shown that men in a committed sexual relationship tend to be more content and even productive.


That doesn't mean that most men and women, for that matter, have no hang-ups when it comes to the commitment part. Giving yourself to another person, promising a lifetime - that's not an easy thing to do. Trust me, I know. In fact, it's not something I *ever* planned to do.


So, how did I end up starring in a romance novel? Well, that's Lucy's story to tell and she does it well, if I do say so myself, in DEAL WITH THIS. Hope you read it!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Book BIN Tuesday -- Deal With This!



I've gotta tell you, I've been waiting for this book to be released for MONTHS. See, I had the chance to read it a while back and absolutely loved it. Loved. It. It's trademark Lucy -- alpha hero, strong heroine, emotional story... just an all around terrific read.




So I'm just thrilled this book is now available for everyone to read!



Here's the blurb: Alan Hyatt could do his job in his sleep, and when the Goddard Project sends him to investigate a case of high-tech espionage in the Vancouver film industry, he finds a perfect reason to work in bed. But sizzling actress Jillian Carlyle also happens to be his landlady, and she's got a hard-and-fast (so to speak) rule that keeps her from dating her renters. While Alan’s cover as a reporter gets him close to all the suspects on the set of Jillian's sci-fi show, playing a background actor at her suggestion to get his story? Well, that's something else—but he's not about to turn down a red-hot redhead, even if she keeps throwing him curves...


Jillian just can't understand it. Sure, Alan is six-feet-something of chiseled ruggedness with gray eyes and an irresistible growl in his voice. But hello? She doesn't do relationships—even of the casual kind—with men who impact more than her senses. No one is getting a chance at her heart. Especially not one of her renters. Still, there's nothing wrong with enjoying Alan from afar—but not too far, or she wouldn't be able to fully appreciate his rock-hard abs when he's working out in the home gym. If only he didn't make her feel safe and oh so right when they touched...



Seriously. Get this book now. You won't be sorry. Still not convinced? How about a peek at the video?




Deal With This. Available today at bookstores everywhere. So run on out and Buy It Now!


***Special Note*** Stop by on Thursday when Lucy Monroe will be guest blogging!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving

Yes, I know it's Thursday, but I'll be gone most of the day for Thanksgiving. So instead of an official Thursday Thirteen, since I won't be around to blog-hop, I thought I'd list some of the things I'm thankful for this year.

1. My family.
2. My health.
3. Being a working writer. It may not be my only job, but I'm so thankful I get this opportunity to share my writing beyond my best friend and my husband.
4. Having such a close relationship with my parents. They're the best.
5. Having fabulous in-laws.
6. Basic necessities.
7. Being able to read, and having so many wonderful books to choose from.
8. Having great, supportive friends.
9. Chocolate.
10. Travel.
11. My fuzzy yellow bathrobe.
12. Once a month Date Night.
13. YOU!

If you're a fellow American, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. If you're from outside the US, have a great weekend and I'll be back blogging soon!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Book BIN Tuesday -- Pretend You Love Me



Last week, you may recall, I featured Lauren Dane on Book BIN Tuesday. This week, I'm focusing on the other book I picked up at our mutual booksigning -- Stacia Wolf's Pretend You Love Me.




This was another book I'd missed on its original release. I'm kicking myself now, because it's such a great book! Fun, sexy, fast-paced -- I loved it! It's got one of my favorite storylines, friends to lovers, and it's a delight watching Cassie and Mike work their way past the barriers keeping them from admitting how they feel about each other.




Add this to the wonderful holiday story Stacia has in THE PERFECT GIFT, and she's definitely an author to watch. Take my advice -- head over to MBaM and Buy It Now. You won't regret it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My Newest Musical Crush....

Damn you, Lynne Connolly, for mentioning Seth Lakeman on the Samhain Cafe the other night. She said, and I quote: "Now go watch Seth Lakeman before I take him away from you. And don't watch him doing Kitty Jay. That way lies obsession."

Never one to back down from a challenge like that, I looked him up on YouTube.

She's right, dammit. He's amazing.

See for yourself:


Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #34 -- Booksigning Edition






Okay, it's been well over a week since the Samhain booksigning. But I (1) need a topic for TT, and (2) finally got the pictures downloaded. So here are thirteen things I learned at the Samhain booksigning November 3:



1. Lauren Dane and Stacia Wolf are both fabulous women! I had a great time chatting with them and getting to know them.


2. A good bookseller makes a huge difference. Our contact at Waldenbooks ordered in a ton of books, asked us to sign the remaining stock, and promised to face the books out over the holiday season. How cool is that?


3. The Rainforest Cafe is like eating inside the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland. Except without the corny jokes.


4. There's a drink at the Rainforest Cafe that comes in a glass with flashing neon lights around the base of it. If I'd seen that before I ordered, I probably would have gotten it.


5. All customers coming into Waldenbooks after shopping at Radio Shack set off the security alarm.


6. Three authors and multiple books can squeeze to fit one small rectangular card table.


7. It's harder when said table is inside the posts of the security system at the entryway.


8. Friends and relatives who come to the mall on a Saturday night to support you at a booksigning are to be cherished.


9. It is impossible to participate in a booksigning without spending way more money on new books than you ever could have made in royalties for the night.


10. This is not a bad thing. :)


11. Dinner beforehand is a lovely thing. I highly recommend it.


12. Dessert afterward is even better.


13. I can't wait until the next booksigning!





Monday, November 12, 2007

Book BIN Tuesday -- Giving Chase




So I don't know how, exactly, I missed jumping on the Lauren Dane Chase Brothers bandwagon. I'd heard such great things about the books, and knew they sounded like they'd be right up my alley. But somehow, I never got around to reading any of them.




Until last week.




Regular readers of my blog know I participated in a signing a couple of weekends ago with Lauren Dane and Stacia Wolf. (And yes, I will be blogging about it. Eventually.) It was a perfect opportunity to pick up their books and get them signed, too! :) And since I'm a stickler for reading series in order, I got Giving Chase, the first Chase Brothers book.

So last week I sat down and read it. (Note to editor: I read it on the exercise bike at the club. No writing time was sacrificed for the reading of this book.)


I absolutely loved it. Loved the characters, loved the town, loved the interactions with all the secondary characters (what a great family!), loved the story. It was a great, exciting, emotional read. And I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to read it.




One thing I can say with certainty is that I won't be waiting this long to read the rest of them. The rest of the Chase Brothers books are gonna be in my shopping cart tonight. So why don't you join me over at MBaM and Buy (Them) Now?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My New Favorite Site...

I'm a vocabulary geek. I love words, love to play with them, love to collect obscure information about the English language.

I'm also a big fam of donating time and money to worthy causes.


So imagine my delight when a loop buddy sent a link to this site:




For every vocabulary word you get right, they donate ten grains of rice toward world hunger efforts through the United Nations.


So tonight I procrastinated on my WIP for ten minutes, helped donate over 1100 grains of rice, and discovered that a

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #33 -- Everybody in the Pool!





Thirteen things I like about swimming lessons


1. It's inside. No more freezing my behind off on the soccer field.
2. The pool viewing area is warm. See note above.
3. I like watching my kids enjoy being in the water.
4. Living in the Pacific Northwest, and owning a boat, swimming is a survival skill.
5. Two hours of no arguments over computer time and television, twice a week.
6. I can write on my Dana and still keep an eye on the kids.
7. My kids look forward to it.
8. Swimming plus shower equals no bath night!
9. It tires them out right before bed.
10. Getting our money's worth out of our health club membership.
11. Keeps them active in the months between soccer and fastpitch.
12. They're actually getting better with each session.
13. Makes me look forward to the summer, and vacation time.









Monday, November 05, 2007

Book BIN Tuesday -- Love and Lore


I admit it.

I'm a sucker for anything Celtic. Celtic design, Celtic jewelry, Celtic tradition, Celtic stories.

Especially Celtic stories.

That's why I was so excited to see that Samhain's second anniversary anthology, Love and Lore, is all about the Celts. :)

Here's the blurb:

Journey to the heart of Celtic legend.

Samhain is pleased to celebrate its second anniversary with three novellas that will lure you into the labyrinth of Celtic myth and legend.

In WILDISH THINGS, Carolan Ivey brings together an artist who is wounded in both body and spirit, and a sexy Irish bad boy on a Harley. Their whirlwind fling across Ireland takes a dangerous turn when their sexual chemistry awakens the deadly lust of an ancient goddess.

Gia Dawn’s offering of A FAIRY SPECIAL GIFT has it all: A woman who can see fairies and wishes she couldn’t, and a man who promises to help her with her “problem”-for the price of a kiss. Stir in the Celtic god Lugh who wants the woman for himself, rowdy flock of untamed pixies, and a pining Banshee in need of a makeover, and let’s just say there aren’t enough fairy traps in the world to control the chaos.

The HEART OF THE SEA beckons in Sela Carsen’s take on the Selkie legend. When a woman accidentally falls into the sea and turns into a seal, the man she loves believes her drowned. Seven years later, she rescues him from a shipwreck and for one blissful night, she returns to her human form. But only for a night. Can true love overcome the Selkie curse?

****
All three stories sound fabulous, don't they? You can buy them individually as e-books, or collected in the print anthology. Either way, I think you should go ahead and Buy (Them) Now!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Best. Meeting. Ever.

So Thursday I finally hauled myself off to my RWA chapter's monthly meeting. It's been a long time -- the summer break, then scheduling conflicts, conspired to keep me away. But I made it last night, and man I'm glad I did.

We had an experts panel, and let me tell you, it completely blew me away. In one room, we had:

A female patrol officer
A homicide detective
An EMT/firefighter
A former Ranger/Green Beret
and
A former pro bull rider/Marine sniper

I don't think I stopped taking notes all evening. My hand's still a little cramped up. It was AMAZING.

This is one of many, many reasons I love my RWA chapter.

And don't be surprised to find some heroes/heroines in these professions in my books sometime in the future. :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Unofficial Thursday Thirteen -- Hannah Montana Edition

So I'm starting NaNoWriMo today, plus it's end-of-the-month reports for the day job, so I just can't find the time to work up an official TT this week, with a header and links to the main blog and all. But I do have 13 things to share about the Hannah Montana concert anyway, so here they are...


1. 10,000-plus elementary age girls shrieking in unison is enough to make your ears bleed.


2. 10,000-plus elementary age girls shriek at *anything*.


  • The curtain moved! AAAAAAAH!

  • Look! It's a roadie! EEEEEEEEK!

  • Wow! There's an HP commercial on the big screen! WOOOOOOO!

3. Fire prevention week works. My middle child was terrified that the pyrotechnic show was going to burn the arena down.


4. The Jonas Brothers are cute, in a jail-bait, way too young for me sort of way.


5. I actually know more Jonas Brothers songs than I thought I did.


6. Those same shrieking elementary age girls actually sound pretty good singing along with Hannah Montana.


7. Glowsticks have replaced lighters, though lit-up cell phone screens are a close second.


8. I read a review that said the equal time given Miley Cyrus's songs was like going to a concert given by a classic rock band that refuses to play any of their old hits. I'd agree--though the songs were all fun and well-done, the audience was far less familiar with them and there wasn't as much enthusiasm for them. Plus, so many Hannah hits were left off the playlist, I'm sure some fans were disappointed.


9. Okay, yes, I admit it. I wanted to hear If We Were A Movie. Sue me.


10. In case anyone is wondering, I bought the tickets for face value. I love my kids, but not enough to pay a scalper the exorbitant rates asked for this show.


11. The girl can sing. And dance. And change clothes. (A costume change every two songs! I'm a little jealous.)


12. I would never have gone to see the show if I hadn't had children to take. But I'm really glad I went -- it was lots of fun, and a real joy to see my kids having such a good time.


13. I'm especially glad I got to be part of my kids' first concert experience. And this was a perfect first show.


So that's it for concerts for me until December. And how opposite end of the spectrum can you get in six days -- Neil Young to Hannah Montana? :)


My first concert was fifteen minutes of a Belinda Carlisle show at Bumbershoot during a lunch break (I sold ice cream at Bumbershoot and FolkLife for years). How about you? What was your first show?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Book BIN Tuesday -- Warning! Fangrrrl Moment!

Another week, another Tuesday, another Book BIN recommendation!

It's an easy one this week.

Jules.
Robin.
Wedding.
SEALS.
Troubleshooters.


Really, need I say more? But just in case that's not enough to tempt you to pick up a copy of Suz Brockmann's holiday "novella" ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT (I use quotes because it's longer than most of her category books!), how about this?

Every penny of Suz's earnings -- advance, royalties, foreign rights, audio royalties, subrights -- is being donated to MassEquality. Every penny.

Plus, because it's by Suz, it's sure to be a ripping good read. So do yourself a favor and run down to the nearest bookstore -- and Buy It Now.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Meet Me Next Week!

For those of you in the Seattle area, I'll be signing at the Southcenter Waldenbooks next Saturday from 6-8 pm. Lauren Dane, Stacia Wolf and I will be signing Samhain titles -- and since Stacia and I both have stories in the PERFECT GIFT anthology, you can get two autographs for the price of one! :)

Stop by and say hello -- if you tell me you heard about the signing on my blog, you'll get a special reader's gift!

Waldenbooks
270 Southcenter Shopping Center
Seattle, WA 98188
Phone: 206.248.0886

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #32 -- Neil Young Edition

(header graphic courtesy Write From Karen)



So I went to the Neil Young concert this week. Here are thirteen random thoughts about the event:

1. The venue seated at most 7000 people. I liked it better than being in a huge arena in the nosebleeds.
2. It was definitely the anti-arena show. Odd, industrial-looking set that seemed cobbled together of random pieces of machinery and letter shapes, no fireworks or special effects, just Neil and his music.
3. Of the entire opening set, performed by Pegi Young, my favorite song was the second performed.
4. At the end of the song, she announced that it was the one that WASN'T on her album.
5. I really like Like A Hurricane.
6. The concert was performed in two sets -- acoustic and electric. Nice way to highlight both sides of Neil.
7. It may seem counterintuitive, but I actually felt more sleepy during the rock-out electric set.
8. Am I getting old? I can stay up til all hours on the computer, but put me in a dark concert hall with music being played, and I'm ready for a nap.
9. Loved Cinnamon Girl.
10. Wished he'd played my all time favorite, The Needle and The Damage Done.
11. Absent that, my favorite of the night was probably From Hank to Hendrix.
12. At the end of the second set, random letters of the backdrop lit up. Spelled out? Neil. :)
13. My next concert experience will be VERY different. Tune in next week for details.



Oh, and if you TT'ed at my blog last week, be sure to scroll down to the previous post. You may already be a winner! :)



And the Winners Are...

Yes, I know, it took me long enough, but I'm finally able to announce the winners of my Birthday Week Celebration!

Congratulations to the following winners, one chosen from each birthday post:

TETEWA
Download of Lessons In Love
LORI
Quilted drawstring bag with a sweet treat inside
and...
JENNIFER
Signed copy of Tease Me, Please Me
Please contact me off-blog at kate AT kate-davies DOT com so I can get those prizes to you! And thanks to everyone for posting during my birthday week. I had a great time, and hope you did too!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Book BIN Tuesday -- The Best Man


So the crossing guard at my middle child's school is a big-time romance fan. It's not unusual for her to hand me a grocery sack full of paperbacks as I walk across the street in the morning. (Or vice-versa.) Then we spend five minutes discussing recent reads and reality TV while my youngest stomps in puddles and announces that hot chocolate would be a nice snack.

Hint, hint.

So a few weeks ago she passed along a bunch of older paperbacks, saying that some were hit and miss. But she was really excited about one of them. "It's the historical about the cattle drive. I think you'll love it!"

Of course, she was right. The Best Man by Maggie Osborne is a ripping great read, with characters that absolutely inhabit the page and a breathtaking race against all odds. It may be a little hard to find, especially since you probably don't have a book-pushing crossing guard to give it to you, but I heartily recommend that you track it down and Buy It Now!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Why I Went to the Health Club Today....

...even though I wasn't feeling 100%:

My middle child decided to write a play about Christopher Columbus. I was even offered a part. My choice --

(a) The Santa Maria
(b) Land.

Prizes announced tomorrow. Stay Tuned! :)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Argh! And Last Chance to Enter My Birthday Contest



So I've been struggling with Comcast this week, because their $(%&^ site update has completely messed up my website. I've been trying to post updates, but Comcast won't let me. And half the time, when I try to visit my site to see if the updates are there, I get this screen:




So I'm more than a little frustrated. They'd better get things straightened out soon, or I'm really going to lose it. (h/t to Angie for the link to the article!)


On a happier note, you've got until midnight tonight to post a comment on my blog (any post from this week) in order to be in the running for a prize. And to get the conversation going, here's a question for you:


What's the worst customer service experience you've had?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #31 -- Birthday Edition!

(header courtesy of Write From Karen)

Thirteen presents I got for my birthday (which was yesterday!)

1. Slippers

2. A bottle of Gewurztraminer

3. Three great-smelling hand soaps

4. A white shirt and brown trouser outfit

5. A green, sparkly, already-sharpened pencil

6. The last piece of watermelon bubble gum

7. Two print blouses

8. My youngest's favorite Wiggles video ("you can watch it whenever you want!")

9. Khaki dress slacks

10. Dinner from Arby's so I didn't have to cook

11. A "book bag" made out of printer paper and transparent tape

12. A dozen cut-out hearts artistically draped over the living room chair

13. A ton of hugs and kisses!



Yes, I was spoiled -- and loved every minute of it! And to keep the fun going, I'm holding a blog contest through Friday at midnight. Anyone who posts between now and then is in the drawing for a prize! So be sure to drop by this weekend to see if you've won!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Celebration Time!


Break out the confetti and cake -- it's my birthday!


And to celebrate, *I'm* giving away the pressies. :) From now until Friday at midnight Pacific time, everyone who posts on my blog will be put in a drawing for a prize. Maybe more than one!


So post away. You could be a winner!


Today's topic: Presents! What's the best present you ever received? (Or, conversely, what's the best present you ever gave?)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Book BIN Tuesday -- Along for the Ride


Mmmm -- Michelle Pillow. Love her stuff! And especially love the sound of her newest release, out today from Virgin Books. Here's a peek at Along for the Ride:


Detective Megan Matthews is cursed with always being right. Her instincts are good, her deductive reasoning even better. She’s found her hard-headed ways to be too much for most men, so she’s given up on trying to find Mr Right and has settled for arresting Mr Wrong.

Photographer, Ryan Andrews, has had a crush on the sexy detective since he first took her photograph by accident at a crime scene. That picture became headline news and she hasn’t talked to him since. He’s tried everything to get her attention, even enlisted the help of her sister. Nothing works. When opportunity presents itself, he’s left with little choice. But is blackmailing a cop into marriage really a good idea?


Doesn't that sound just yummy? And the cover jumps out and grabs you. I can't wait to pick up a copy. And if you're anything like me, you're ready to head right out and Buy It Now!


Cover Love...


Yay! They just posted the new covers over at Samhain's coming soon pages, so I can share my latest cover with you.


It's the e-book cover for Home for Christmas, my novella in Samhain's Christmas anthology The Perfect Gift. Isn't it lovely? :)
I got it a while back and waiting to share it with y'all has been KILLING me. So life is good!


Kate, very happy now...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Kate and Lucy's Excellent Adventure

Okay, I admit it. I was planning to include pictures with this blog post, but

(a) we wanted to maintain some of our mystique

or

(b) I forgot my camera.

You pick. :)

So this morning I bundled up the kidlets and headed on down the freeway to Lucy's place, ready for a day of fun. (Or, as my youngest called it, "our playdate". LOL!) Traffic was moving along at a great clip until I hit the bridge into town, when a wreck several miles further down the road clogged up EVERYTHING. Several hours later (okay, not really, but it sure felt like it!), we arrived.

Lucy was a fabulous hostess, as usual, and we spent the day bopping around town, children (hers and mine) in tow. First lunch, then a detour to pick up spouse with broken car, then to Target (shopping! yay!), then back to the house for a dip in the hot tub and a chat (tough with kids demanding attention, but we managed), then a snack, then I hit the road for the long drive home. Made longer by a wreck several miles down the road. Sigh.

I had a great time, and came away with these basic truths:

(a) Lucy is an all-around wonderful person.
(b) So are all her kids, and her DH.
(c) She lives too far away.
(d) Always bring more than two DVDs for the car ride.

Tomorrow's soccer, then family get-together. Here's wishing everyone a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #30 -- October Edition!

Thirteen reasons I love October...


1. Cold, crisp, fall days.


2. Chili in the crock pot and fresh bread from the bread machine.

3. Halloween candy.

4. Not so much weeding.

5. Hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps.

6. Hot chocolate without peppermint schnapps.

7. My birthday!

8. End of soccer season (which I love, but I'm ready for it to be done for the year).

9. Reading a book on the couch on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

10. Halloween costumes. (I don't get to wear them anymore, but it's way fun helping the kiddos pick them out!)


11. Did I mention Halloween candy?


12. Holiday decorating. (Just for Halloween/harvest time. I won't pull out the Christmas decor until the day after Thanksgiving, thankyouverymuch.)
13. Trick or treating with the kids!







Monday, October 08, 2007

Book BIN Tuesday -- The Dark Is Rising


When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back;

Three from the circle, three from the track;

Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone;

Five will return, and one go alone.

I've been a fan of The Dark Is Rising since seventh grade, when a school librarian recommended the sequence. I still remember the shelf it was on in my Junior High library -- bottom left of the far right side of the library, next to the study tables. Maybe because I checked each of the five books out so frequently. :)

I loved them -- the Arthurian mythos, the English/Welsh countryside, the not-always-obvious battle for the soul of the world. For a long time, I read The Dark Is Rising every year at the winter solstice. It was a perfect beginning to the season.

So I was thrilled when I saw the new edition at the local Borders -- Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture! I ran home and looked it up on IMDB, clicking excitedly on the trailer.

By the end of the 45-second ad, I was crushed. They'd taken everything wonderful and magical and amazing about the book and stripped it away. They'd turned a shy, eleven year old English boy with a large but loving family into a typical, thirteen year old transplanted American with a family that treated him poorly. They dumped the Arthurian backstory. They cut the Walker, for heaven's sake!
Not only that, but interviews showed that the people involved in making the film either hadn't bothered to read the book, or they read it and hated it. The screenwriter doesn't like fantasy. The director thought he could trim out pretty much everything and keep the "spine" of the story. The actors mentioned how "dense" and "boring" the book was. The author, Susan Cooper, was interviewed on NPR , and came across as quietly devastated at what had been done to her book.
So the movie came out last Friday, now renamed The Seeker (formerly The Seeker: The Dark is Rising), and it -- tanked. Horribly. It was the worst opening for a fantasy movie EVER. Part of me is glad, because I hate to see books treated so abominably and the efforts rewarded. But I'm worried that a new generation of readers will avoid the books now that the movie associated with it is such a bomb. Even many of the reviews seem to blame the author or the book for the travesty that is the movie.
So please, take my advice. Save your movie ticket money and buy the book instead. You'll be so, so glad you did. (And so will I.) :D

Monday, Monday...

So I'm looking at my calendar for the week and wondering when the #(%& I'm actually going to sleep. I've got three soccer games, two evening meetings that I'm chairing so there's all that prep work involved in that, an article due for the local family magazine, a guest editorial to write for the local paper on a levy issue, the day job, a mom's group meeting, eldest child's piano lesson, plus at least three workouts at the local health club for the wellness challenge. (Sadly, I'm not taking strip aerobics a la Dani in Challenging Carter; I can't imagine the class would fly in this town. ) And working on my new book, which has a looming deadline.

On the positive side, there's no school on Friday, so the kids and I are heading down the freeway to visit one of my favorite people in the whole world, Lucy Monroe. So there's something great to look forward to at the end of my hectic week.

So what's your plan for the week? Anything exciting to share?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Blogging On Glomming...


Hey all!

I'm over at the Samhain blog today with a post about the joys and pains of glomming. Hope you can drop by and put in your two cents worth!

Kate

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #29 -- Banned Books Week Edition


In keeping with the theme of the week -- banned and challenged books -- I'm listing thirteen frequently-challenged books that I loved.

And don't forget my contest! Comment in the post right below this one, and you could win a free download of my latest book, Lessons In Love.


2. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

3. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

4. The Giver by Lois Lowry

5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

6. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle

7. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan

8. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

9. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

10. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

11. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher

12. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney

13. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut


Wow! Let me tell you, it was hard to narrow that list down. How about you? Check out the ALA list of most challenged books of 1990-2000 and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Banned Books Week -- and a contest!

Happy Banned Books Week!


Yes, it's that time of year again, when the American Library Association brings our attention to the issue of challenged and banned books.


As a writer and former English teacher, I have some very strong opinions about the practice of banning books. I'll let you guess what they are. :)


Anyway, I was noodling around on the ALA website and came upon the top 100 challenged books list, and was shocked once again to see so many author names I recognized. JK Rowling! Lois Lowry! Chris Crutcher! Caroline Cooney! Judy Blume!


Maya Angelou.

Toni Morrison.

Mark Twain.

Isabel Allende.

Kurt Vonnegut.


It pains me to think how bare the shelves would be without those voices. How slim my childhood reading list would have been without many of the books on that list.


So here's my contest. Just post in the comments what your favorite banned book is. One random poster will win a download of my newest book, Lessons In Love.


And for more Banned Books discussion, stop by the Samhain Cafe now through Friday. A bunch of Samhain authors will be talking banned books, sharing excerpts of their own work, and giving away prizes.




Monday, October 01, 2007

Book BIN Tuesday -- Damn You, Suz Brockmann!


Look, I was trying to be nice about it. But I can't hold it in much longer.

You're messing with my schedule, woman!

See, I have deadlines. Manuscripts that need to be written. Contracts, for heaven's sake!

I don't have *time* to glom on your books right now.

But noooo. You had to write Force of Nature, didn't you? And have it published, right in the middle of one of the busiest times of my life!

And oh, dear Lord, you had to put Jules in it, didn't you? :: whimper ::

I held out for as long as I could. I got final edits done, and a round of promo for the new releases, and the new school year started. But I began running into spoilers, and I knew I couldn't wait any longer.
So I read it. In one day. And then, as soon as I finished it, I turned back to page one and started over again.

Then, after reading it twice, I had to go grab Hot Target off the shelf and read that one again, too.

So I'm giving my readers fair warning. Force of Nature is dangerous to your schedule.

But I still think you should go Buy It Now.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #28 -- Girls Night Out report!



Since I focused on my then-upcoming booksigning last week, I thought I'd take today to report back on how it went. Here's the skinny:






1. Thanks to traffic, I was twenty minutes late getting there. Then I spent ten minutes driving around the parking lot trying to find a parking space. Not the best start to the evening!


2. Once in the mall, I went over to the signing tables to find my seat. There was no nametag for me. Again, not auspicious.


3. Once we figured out that Kate Austin was signing at a different bookstore and the tag really should have read Kate Davies, I breathed a little easier. The signage was fixed right away. :)


4. Even as late as I was, I still managed to be the third author who arrived. Evidently, I wasn't the only one with travel issues. (The ferries were a nightmare, from what I understand...)



5. At the start of the evening, I got to sit next to Ann DeFee, a Harlequin American Romance author with a great sense of humor. We spent a good portion of the first hour standing at our table, answering questions about RWA and becoming a published author.

6. Most repeated comment of the evening:

"You wrote that?"

"Yes!" (Big smile)

"Gee, you look too conservative to write something like that!"
Huh?




7. At around 6:30, my seatmate arrived -- Susan Lyons. A fabulous Brava author, Susan and I had fun shocking passersby with our book covers. (We were the "hot" section of the signing.)



8. Jaw-dropping moment: A woman walks by, picking up bookmarks, pens, candy, etc., from each of the authors. Then, as she walks away, she announces loudly, "I'd never read a romance unless there was nothing else available."



9. My best publicist? My mom! She talked up the signing to everyone. Including the woman at the Clinique counter, who rushed over to introduce herself. Way to go, Mom!

10. The hot tamales were a big hit! (If you can't read the label, it says, "...because a little spice is nice!", with my name and web address on it.) I was glad, because staying up until 2 a.m. filling little cellophane bags with candy is a bit of a pain. Ah, the glamorous life of an author...

11. Funniest moment: a woman walks up with a big smile on her face. "I understand you (meaning writers) sometimes come into the schools and give talks." I held up my copy of my book and said, "I don't think I'd bring this into the schools." She said, "Oh, sorry!", blushed, and literally ran away.




12. Our table, left to right: Gerri Russell, Ann DeFee, Susan Lyons, and me. The table on the other side of the signing (sorry, no pic!): Cherry Adair, Pat White, and Elizabeth Boyle. Couldn't make it: Dawn Calvert, my chaptermate and a fabulous author who got sick. :(






13. Best of all -- I sold out! I even signed copies for people I didn't know! :)






It was a great evening and I'm so glad I was able to participate. Thanks to Peninsula RWA and Barnes and Noble for sponsoring a wonderful event!




Monday, September 24, 2007

Book BIN Tuesday -- Two-fer!

There are two great-sounding books coming out this week from Samhain that I'm really looking forward to. Here's the skinny:

DARK WATERS by Gabriella Hewitt


A predator stalks paradise and she’s next.

The ICE Files

On a tropical isle, Frankie Montalvo discovers roots to a past she never knew. Tales of witchcraft, missing girls and el chupacabra surround her, but it will take more than superstitions to scare her away. Determined to create her own home, she enlists the help of an enigmatic beach bum.

She doesn’t want to fall for a drifter who will probably break her heart and move on, but when both she and her home are attacked, it’s in Rico’s arms that she finds safety and protection. All she’s ever wanted was to settle down and live life on her own terms, but someone has other plans and Frankie must decide—is Rico her lover or her enemy?
Special Agent Rico Lopez has been to the depths of hell and back. He returns to his native island of Vieques to forget an ICE mission gone wrong only to find himself caught up in the search for a neighbor’s daughter—a victim of the legendary el chupacabra. Paradise has a predator and all leads point to a dilapidated old plantation and its sexy as sin owner. Lying to Frankie is the only way to do his job, but is he protecting her or himself?
As the net around them tightens and their lives are put on the line, he’ll learn the greatest danger he’s ever faced is the risk of losing his heart.

Human for half a month, dragon for the other half…his salvation lies in the hands of a young, broken thief.
Seeking a mythical treasure in a far-off land is, at best, a risky venture. And that’s before Gamsin discovers an enchanted man/dragon thrown into the mix. He extends his hospitality, and generous spirit, to her. But, as Gamsin knows from bitter experience, there is always a price to pay.
Ankoll has been dragon-cursed for five hundred years and is desperate for someone to help him end his enchantment. Where Gamsin sees only hurt and pain, he sees a woman of depth and strength.
In his search for the master sorcerer who punished him in the first place, Ankoll and Gamsin travel to the isolated Twilight Ranges and confront an evil previously banished from the world. Will Gamsin, a broken young woman, be strong enough to give Ankoll the support he desperately needs? And what of the man-dragon who begins to realize that a hated form may be the only salvation for their world?
*****
So there you go. Two intriguing new books, very different, but both on my shopping list! Why not stop by My Bookstore and More and Buy It (them) Now?