Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Book BIN Special Edition -- Charming the Darkness


Hey all!

It's 2009! So why not start the new year off with a new book? Shiela Stewart has the latest in her Darkness series coming out today, and here's the scoop:

Danny Vega had never been comfortable as a human, unlike his twin brother. When he was offered a new life, Danny took it. As a vampire. Turning his back on his family, he welcomed the darkness. But when Chaos, the one man he has always looked up to most goes missing, and Danny is shunned by his kind, he decides to leave Jacobs Cove.

That is, until he’s run off the road.

As a witch, Starla Raine is fascinated by the ritual used to cast Jacobs Cove in darkness and decides to check it out. Entering the city she’s mesmerized by the blanket covering the city, and accidently runs someone off the road. When she discovers the man behind the wheel is connected to the spell that cast a shadow on the city, she decides to hold him captive until he agrees to help her find the spell book. And she’ll use any means possible to convince him, including seducing him.

Annoyed at being held against his will, Danny caves to Starla and agrees to help her find the ritual as long as she helps him find Chaos. He doesn’t mind using her magical abilities, or her body, for his own gain. Sex is just sex, until his heart gets in the way. But when she pushes him to make amends with his brother, or lose her, he finds letting her go isn’t that easy.

Can he open his heart to the light, or give in to the darkness once more?

You can get a copy here. So why not head on over and Buy It Now?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Book BIN Tuesday -- Lessons Learned


It's finally here!

The two-in-one print edition of my royal romances, Lessons Learned, will be released today. It's been up on Amazon and B & N for pre-sale for a while now, but officially you can get it now.

Here's the scoop:

Two royal siblings. Two regular Americans. When love comes to Laurivenia, no heart is safe.
Lessons In Love
Hungry for adventure, Brynn takes a teaching job in a foreign country. But on arrival she discovers she’s the new royal nanny instead.
Prince Alex is tired of women feigning interest in his daughter to get close to him. So if he fudged the details of the job to protect his child, who can blame him?
His plans unravel the moment Brynn appears. She is beautiful and free spirited, nothing like the nanny he expected. Sparks fly between them, but when the paparazzi discover their affair, all bets are off.
Can the prince and the nanny find common ground?
Lessons In Trust
Princess Lucia’s new bodyguard refuses to play by the rules. His insistence on shadowing her 24/7 is cramping her style. He needs to go before the sparks between them get too hot.
Eric would be happy to leave. The sinfully sexy princess is a royal pain. But he won’t go until the threat against her is neutralized.
Eric spirits her away to a safe house where passion ignites, leaving them shaken. They must work together before Lucia’s safety—and their connection—are lost forever.
****
It's a nice way to close out 2008, don't you think? :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Digging Out


Today was a red-letter day.

I took the garbage out wearing my black flats.

This is an accomplishment, you see, because today was the first day I wore something other than thick winter boots on my feet. And why the winter boots, you say?

Because of the snow. Lots and lots and lots of snow.

Now, you have to understand that here in the Pacific Northwest, we're lucky if we get one or two snowfalls per winter, which tend to stick around for a day or two before the thaw sets in. This year, however, we had snow on six of the seven days prior to Christmas, including one day when it snowed for nine hours straight.

Let me tell you, it messed everything up. We northwesterners aren't accustomed to snow that, you know, lasts. We don't have experience driving on it, shoveling it, or (heavens!) looking at it for days at a time. There were benefits, of course. Lots of family time -- we took long walks through town enjoying the Christmas lights, held incredibly long snowball fights, and helped the kids make snow forts and find the best icicles for Harry Potter-style wands. And having a truly white Christmas was something we rarely experience.

On the other hand, I haven't driven in over a week and a half, finishing the Christmas shopping was an exercise in futility (one nephew still doesn't have a gift), and holiday plans were shifted, postponed, and even scrapped altogether.

So, though it's a little sad to see the lovely white snow melt away, I'm not disappointed to have life get back to normal again.

How is your post-holiday season treating you?

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Little Holiday Cheer

Home For Christmas Featured on Writer's Vineyard


A month or so ago I was invited to participate in a really cool holiday celebration at the Writer's Vineyard. Every day in November and December they're posting a different short story or excerpt from a holiday book. Well, today (the 19th) is my day! Stop by to read a fun excerpt.

Don't forget you can get a bigger sampling from the Discover New Authors program at the Samhellion site, with the promo edition of Home for Christmas now available for download.

And if you want to read something completely different, but still in keeping with the season, check out my guest blog on the Samhain weblog from Wednesday. I would have posted about it earlier but the power went out (during a snowstorm!) and I got a bit distracted. But you should definitely stop by, if only to find out what words of wisdom my mom shared with me during the winter months many years ago. (Words to live by, I tell you!)

See? Didn't I tell you I was going to be everywhere this month? ;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Try Me -- Free!


Hey! It's the holiday season, and Samhain has a special offer for you. They're giving away the first part of my Christmas story, Home for Christmas. You'll get to read the first twenty-five or so pages for free and then, if you like what you read, you can buy the rest (buy links at the end of the promo copy).

Home for Christmas is part of Samhain's The Perfect Gift anthology, and also available as a separate e-book. This is one of my all-time favorites -- Ethan and Sophia were such a fun couple to write. If you haven't checked it out yet, now is the perfect time.

Here's the link. Hope you enjoy!

Happy Anniversary!


So today's my wedding anniversary.

Getting married the week before Christmas is both great and strange. You save a ton on decorations, since everything available surface is covered in poinsettias and Christmas trees. On the other hand, you get a lot of Christmas-themed presents.

And it's hard to celebrate just as a couple, so close to Christmas, with all the activities associated with the holiday. Tonight, we'll be having dinner at home with the kids, watching the snow fall.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy anniversary, sweetie!

Book BIN Tuesday -- Reaction Time


Five days. Close quarters. It’s enough to drive any woman crazy—or into submission…

Nikki Kincaid carries her smart mouth and in-your-face attitude like other women carry mace. But the sharpest parts of her razor tongue are reserved for Adam Guthrie, a man who sparks her body’s reaction time quicker than a green light. That out-of-control response terrifies her, because control is her middle name.

When someone starts sending Nikki threatening letters, Adam jumps at her brother’s request to help protect her—whether she likes it or not. For the past year and a half he’s been watching her, analyzing her body language and cutting remarks, and has come to one definitive conclusion. She’s a sexual submissive in hiding.

Five days in close quarters is exactly what Adam’s been waiting for—and Nikki’s idea of hell. Bringing her deepest desires to the surface will be the greatest challenge of his life. And, if he succeeds, his greatest reward.

****

Doesn't that sound intriguing? Just the thing to warm up these cold winter nights. So head on over to Samhain and Buy It Now!

Monday, December 15, 2008

MTA Monday -- Meet Alannah Lynne!


NAME: Alannah Lynne

WEBSITE: www.alannahlynne.com

BLOG: www.alannahlynne.blogspot.com

TITLE OF FIRST BOOK: Reaction Time

RELEASE DATE: December 16th from Samhain Publishing

FAVORITE WRITING STORY/SAYING/MEMORY: Write the truth. I can’t remember the exact words that Stephen King uses (and I’ve heard several other authors say the same thing) but the gist is, stay true to the story and write the way the story demands it.

FAVORITE NON-WRITING STORY/SAYING/MEMORY: “Well behaved women rarely make history.”

COMFORT FOOD: Oreos and Lucky Charms

COMFORT READ: Anything that makes me laugh. Usually a Stephanie Plum novel does the trick

YOUR PERFECT DAY: A maid comes in and cleans. A chef shows up to cook and I get to spend several uninterrupted hours writing. LOL…I would imagine that would be my perfect day. Since its never happened, I can’t say for sure but that’s my dream.


WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?: A contemporary romance about a driven advertising executive who must choose between her career and an irresistible client.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Freebie Friday! Contests Ending!

Is it Friday already? Man, time is flying. First, congratulations to Robyn L, for winning last week's Freebie Friday giveaway. Robyn, email me with your address so I can send out your copy of Flirting With Forty.

Next, today is the last day for the 12 Days of Holiday Hell contest being run on my editor's blog. Stop by Nice Mommy-Evil Editor to enter the last contest, and don't forget to enter to win the two Kindles as well!

The Winter Wonderland contest is drawing to a close as well, with the last day scheduled for the 15th.

And today, my Friday freebie is for everyone! I'm offering a sneak peek at my upcoming e-book release, The Devil Inside. I've hidden a never-before-seen excerpt somewhere on my website. Just e-mail me the answer to the following question, and I'll send you the link!

Who is HOOKED dedicated to?

If you don't have a copy of HOOKED, you can pick one up here. And of course I'll have the excerpt up for everyone in the next few weeks.

Have a lovely weekend! We're going to decorate the tree and get started on the Christmas cards. What are you up to this weekend?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Book BIN Tuesday -- Wand'ring Home by Maia Strong

In case you haven't heard, several Samhain authors are giving away free holiday short e-books as a gift to readers. Today, one of my favorite authors, Maia Strong, is the featured author. Her short, Wand'ring Home, is a wonderful visit with the heroes of her first book, The Ballad of Jimothy Redwing.


You can download the free book here -- but if you haven't read Jimothy yet, I highly recommend it. It's not only a great read, it makes Wand'ring Home that much better.


So hie thee to the Samhellion free e-book giveaway and pick up your copy of Wand'ring Home -- and all the other great freebies there!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Freebie Friday! Win! Win! Win!

I'm absolutely thrilled for Jane Porter, a fellow Northwest author, whose book Flirting With Forty has been adapted for TV. This made-for-TV movie, starring Heather Locklear, will be debuting tomorrow night on Lifetime.


I've read the book, and loved it. I can't wait to see how it turns out on the small screen.


So to celebrate, I'm giving away a copy of the book that started it all -- Flirting With Forty, by Jane Porter.


To enter the contest, just post in the comments what book you'd like to see made into a movie -- and who you think should play the lead role(s).


I'll draw a winner Sunday night. Good luck!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Happy December! New Contest!



It's the last month of the year, and I'm going to be all over the web this season. I've already told you about the 12 Days contest (reminder and linky coming soon), plus there are a few places I'll be blogging as well. But today, my lovely editor Angie is opening her Holiday Hell contest!




You'll want to check back at her blog daily to enter the great giveaways (you'll notice books from me popping up from time to time!), especially since the grand prize(s) are so fabulous -- two, count 'em, TWO Kindles!




Today, all you have to do to enter is promo the contest. Stop by Angie's blog for more details. And no, I'm not entering -- I just want to help get the word out about this fabulous opportunity to win! (Plus, there's that whole not-eligible-because-I'm-a-participating-author thing.) :)




Stay tuned for more giveaways, contests, and fun right here!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Spaaaaaaaahhhh....



Last Christmas, the DH gave me a gift certificate to a semi-local women's spa. Now, the word "spa" can conjure up fancy-schmancy images. I know when my mother started talking about this spa she'd found in Tacoma, I was a bit surprised. She's more earth mother than "ladies who lunch". But as soon as I tried it out, several years ago, I understood.


It's a traditional Korean women's spa, with earth energy rooms, multiple soaking pools and whirlpools at different temperatures, steam rooms -- just about everything you'd need to turn into a limp noodle. And the women who go there range from college students to grandmas. No body image issues here -- which is a good thing, since it's not a place for modesty. :)




You can buy added treatments, of course, like body scrubs and mud wraps and massage, but it's just as much fun to pay the $30 entry fee and spend a solid half-day enjoying the facilities.


Observant readers may notice that I got the certificate last Christmas. Almost a year ago. Coincidentally, my Dad got one for my Mom at the same time. And with the holidays fast approaching, we both decided it was about time we actually used the darn things.




So Thursday morning I dropped the kids at school and trundled up the freeway to meet Mom at the spa.




It was *heavenly*. Almost four hours of relaxation and great conversation. We even decided that next time we'd have to hit its sister spa a bit further north, just to compare and contrast. (I have it on good authority that there are quite a few amenities the southern location doesn't have -- a charcoal room? a tea room? Nifty!)




Now, to just make sure it doesn't take me another year to get back to the spa.




How about you? Where do you go/what do you do to pamper yourself?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sad Days

Conversation with my youngest this morning, following a family funeral on Saturday...

KID: Is Uncle Jim in heaven now?
ME: Yes, he is.
KID: Can we still love him?
ME: Of course. Even when people are gone we can still love them.
KID: Yay! (pause) I can't kiss him, though.
ME: No, that would be hard now.
KID: (Long pause) Well, I can kiss him in my heart.

In memory of my Uncle Jim, who died on Nov 4, 2008, following a long battle with lung cancer.

Friday, November 14, 2008

And the Holiday Contest Season begins!



TELL ME ABOUT THIS CONTEST!


Contest Opens November 15 and Ends December 15, midnight EST!


Strap on your furry boots and get ready to stomp through Romance Land in search of fabulous winter gifts! This is our way of thanking readers for giving to us all year long! Visit a favorite author, or discover a new one. But first, get out a pen, because you’ll be searching for the Twelve Days of Christmas and some other holiday images!


WHAT CAN I WIN?


First place winner:


Journal and stationary cards from Diana Castilleja

Ebook The Enchanted Inn by Pam Champagne

Print copy of Key West Magic by Ciar Cullen

Ebook Redemption by Sharon Cullen

Print copy The Perfect Gift by Kate Davies

$10 Fictionwise GC from Gwen Hayes

Ebook winner’s choice from Gwen Hayes list

Print copy Iron Horse Rider by Adelle Laudan

Ebook Midnight Reborn by Diane McEntire

Print book Lisa’s Gift by Mackenzie McKade

Ebook Egyptian Voyage by TJ Michaels

Ebook Dragons’ Choice by Debbie Mumford

Print book Sugar and Sin by Stella and Audra Price

Ebook winner’s choice of Emily Ryan-Davis’ list

Ebook Cindra and the Bounty Hunter by Paige Tyler

Tarot reading by Foxhawke


Second Place:


Ebook Diana Castilleja’s current list

Ebook Dead Heat by Pam Champagne

Seascape notecards from Ciar Cullen

Ebook Home for Christmas by Kate Davies

Ebook winner’s choice of Gwen Hayes’ list

Print copy Smiling Eyes by Adelle Laudan

Prize pack (tshirt, hat, bookmark, magnets) from Diane McEntire


Third Place:


Print book Six Feet Under by Mackenzie McKade

Ebook Glass Magic by Debbie Mumford

Print copy Silk and Steel by Stella and Audra Price

Handknitted wool wristwarmers from Emily Ryan-Davis

Tarot reading by Foxhawke


Fourth Place:


Ebook Bridge of Hope or Bed of Lies by Pam Champagne

Ebook winner’s choice from Ciar Cullen


HOW DO I WIN????


Crack those knuckles and warm up the mouse. Look at the sites below, and find one icon on each site! They aren’t too hard to find, we promise. What are you looking for? The Twelve Days of Christmas, an angel, a winter fairy, and a snowman! Fifteen images in all!



Need some help? On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:


12 Drummers Drumming

Eleven Pipers Piping

Ten Lords a Leaping

Nine Ladies Dancing

Eight Maids a Milking

Seven Swans a Swimming

Six Geese a Laying

Five Golden Rings

Four Calling Birds

Three French Hens

Two Turtle Doves

and a Partridge in a Pear Tree




To win the grand prize, you must find all 15 images. To win second, third, or fourth place, you must find at least 10 images.


Don’t forget the WINTER FAIRY, THE SNOWMAN, and THE ANGEL!

GREAT, I CAN DO THAT! WHAT’S NEXT?


Email your answer to




Your answer should be a list of authors and their image. For example,


Mark Twain, Santa

Charles Dickens, 12th day


THE FINE PRINT

Authors reserve the right to substitute electronic books for print books for winners living outside the writer’s country. No purchase is necessary to win. If a site becomes unavailable for searching during the contest, we will eliminate that image from the contest. We have the ability to spot duplicate entries, so please enter only once!




If you DO NOT want to receive email newsletters or invitations once in a while from the sponsors of this contest, please say so in your entry. This “opting out” will NOT in any way alter your chances of winning. It won’t even hurt our feelings!


READY? HERE’S WHERE TO LOOK!






























Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Book BIN Tuesday -- The Catcher and the Lie

Do you love the boys of summer? Here's a book to check out...

One player works extra innings to make Abby break her own rules about love.

After a year of personal and professional upheaval Nick Valente is in the market for redemption, not temptation. Getting involved with any woman, especially smart-mouthed Abby McCabe, is simply not in this player’s game plan.

Experience, mostly bad, has convinced Abby McCabe that she has a special gift for finding men who can’t help falling out of love with her. Getting close to a man, especially one who plays the field professionally, is sure to add another loss to her emotional score sheet.

As summer heats up an unexpected spark turns into a flame. But fear of getting burned winds up putting two strikes in their relationship. With Nick on the bench, it’s up to Abby to turn the game around. Trusting this man with her heart could deliver the biggest save of her life—or the biggest error she ever made.

Will they strike out or end up with a homerun?

Warning, this title contains the following: a hot baseball player with all-star equipment, a smack talking woman who doesn’t know the score, and a world class collection of inflatable dolls.

Monday, November 10, 2008

MTA Monday -- Meet Rita Oberlies


NAME: Rita Oberlies

WEBSITE: http://www.ritaoberlies.com/

BLOG: shhh --- I don’t have one! If my editor reads this I want her to know that it’s a work in progress.

TITLE OF FIRST BOOK: The Catcher and the Lie

RELEASE DATE: November 11, 2008

FAVORITE WRITING STORY/SAYING/MEMORY: When I started writing my first story back in the fall of 2005 I didn’t tell anyone. My two sons were under the age of three and I was trying to find a way to keep my brain active. It wasn’t until two years later when I decided to submit my work that I finally told my husband. In the spring of 2008 my first two manuscripts were placed under contract. “The Catcher and the Lie” was picked up by Samhain Publishing and “Ready to Take a Chance Again” was accepted at The Wild Rose Press. At that point I began to tell family members that I was pursuing a writing career. So far the only individuals that have read either story are my editors. Of course, now I’m a nervous wreck about what the people closest to me will think of my writing.

FAVORITE NON-WRITING STORY/SAYING/MEMORY: My absolute best memories are from the days my children were born. I think every emotion is so intense at that time (joy, fear, pain, relief, impatience) that it becomes permanently etched on your brain. My husband Dan and I constantly tell our boys about all the little things that happened on their birth days. I want them to know how amazing those moments were for us.

COMFORT FOOD: Brownies hot out of the oven.

COMFORT READ: Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

YOUR PERFECT DAY: Vacationing on Cape Cod with my family. I grew up spending my summers there and now it is a blast taking my boys to the exact same spots. We hit the beach, the taffy shops, mini-golf, and end each day with ice cream. Any day there turns out to be memorable for my family.

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?: I’ve been working on a follow-up story to “The Catcher and the Lie” that involves a secondary character named Bobby Carpenter. I
have also been touching up a manuscript “Matters of the Heart” that I had set aside earlier this year to work on revisions.

Monday, November 03, 2008

One Day More

As a political junkie, and musical theater devotee, I *loved* this. Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

STHIL

Are you an American citizen?
Are you registered to vote?
Have you voted yet?

(My county is all-mail-in, so my ballot is already in.)

If not, tomorrow is the big day. And my big request to you is:

STHIL.

(h/t Jeff Lieber)

It stands for Stay. The. Heck. In. Line.

(Okay, okay. Jeff used a much stronger word. I'm trying to be nice, here.)

I've been watching the news, with the huge, hours-eating, round-the-block lines of people waiting to vote, and Tuesday is likely to be worse. Turnout is predicted to be incredibly high. And if you haven't voted yet, those lines may be a bit of a deterrent.

Don't let the wait stop you from voting. Please, please, stay in line. Bring a snack. Bring a bottle of water. Bring a book. (Or three.) Turn in that ballot. Let your voice be heard. Whether your candidate wins or loses, every vote counts.

So STHIL. Your country will thank you for it. :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween

So the big day is over for another year. We survived the I-don't-like-my-costume-idea-anymore meltdown, the school costume parade, the multiple eggings, the handing out of three hundred pieces of candy, and the inevitable sugar crashes at the end of the night.


It was fun.


The thing about living in the only neighborhood in town with sidewalks on both sides of the street, though, is that people in outlying areas tend to bring their kids in to trick or treat. Which is fine. Having grown up at the end of a gravel road that saw zero Halloween traffic every year, I understand the whole concept of traveling to trick or treat. But sometimes those minivans are like the suburban version of clown cars, with short people in costumes pouring out in a never-ending stream of Spidermen, princesses, and the creepy mask guy from Scream.


Hope you had an enjoyable time!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Haven't Forgotten! Honest!

I know, I know...I've got a winner to announce! Thanks to everyone who posted during my birthday celebration. It was fun getting back in the swing of things with y'all.





So, without further ado, congratulations to:



ELLIE!



This prize is your choice -- an autographed copy of one of my three print titles! You can choose from The Perfect Gift (Christmas anthology), Beginnings (Halloween/Samhain anthology), or Tease Me, Please Me. Just e-mail me your choice, and I'll pop it in the mail.




And everyone else, stay tuned! I'll be posting more chances to win over the next month or so. I'll be a bit busy NaNo-ing, but intend to continue checking in here in the meantime.


And to any US citizens reading this blog -- don't forget to vote!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Quizzage Answers -- and Winner!

....aaaaand Kammie sneaks in under the wire! Yes, for a while there we had a tie for first with three answers correct. Then, before I could toss a coin, Kammie shows up with FOUR correct! Congratulations, Kammie!


So, are you curious? Here are the correct answers to the trivia questions.


1. What author does Kate want to be when she grows up?
a) Nora Roberts
b) Lori Foster
c) Suzanne Brockmann
d) Susan Andersen

Though I am a huge fan of all these authors, Suz wins this one for me.


2. What actor did Kate meet in high school when he dated one of her cousins?
a) Josh Lucas
b) James Caviezel
c) Rainn Wilson
d) Brendan Fraser


Lucky me! (Or should I say, lucky cousin?) I did have a nice, long conversation with Josh about our plans to become famous actors someday. Not that he'd remember it. LOL


(Josh is the not-quite-ex-hubby in Sweet Home Alabama, among other films.)


All of the other actors are around the same age, and all of them lived in the region for at least a little while -- so they were all plausible options. ;)



3. What romance author does Kate's youngest want to have a play date with?
a) Pat White
b) Lucy Monroe
c) Jane Porter
d) Julia Quinn


All my kids love hanging out with Lucy and her family. (All of these authors live in the same general area, though!)


4. What real life event does Kate always use in "two truths and a lie" to throw people off -- because nobody believes it happened?
a) Sang karaoke in a Filipino restaurant in the middle of Munich
b) Once auditioned to be a cast member at Disneyland
c) Married her husband after knowing each other three weeks
d) Published her first short story at the age of fifteen


Sad, but true. It was a not-so-subtle request from the host of the evening. Even sadder, the only English-language song they had I even sort-of knew was the Theme From Mahogany. All together now -- "Do you know, where you're going tooooo..."


5. Kate's "guilty pleasure" reality show -- the one she never misses?
a) The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency
b) Top Design
c) America's Next Top Model
d) Project Runway


I've watched and enjoyed all of these shows, but PR was the only one I put on my "appointment TV" list.


So, there you go. All about me! :)


So, congrats to Kammie. You've won A Flights of Fancy gift pack -- A Tinkerbell photo frame magnet, a Buzz Lightyear Disney Pin, a cinnamon votive candle, and a copy of Jane Porter's Flirting With Forty. Just send me your address and I'll pop them in the mail.


(Note: If you live outside the US, I'll substitute a different prize due to mailing restrictions.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Quizzage


Sigh. So this whole "post in advance" thing is, apparently, beyond me.

Or maybe it's just a Monday.

In any case, here's my final Birthday Bash post, now being extended to Tuesday! :)

Below, I'll post five trivia questions about moi. Post your guesses/answers in the comments section. The first person to answer all five correctly (or the person who gets the most right) will win prize #1!

Prize #2 will go to a random poster from this weekend.

What are the prizes? Well, I'm not tellin' yet. Just trust me that they'll be fabulous! :)

Okay, here goes:

1. What author does Kate want to be when she grows up?

a) Nora Roberts

b) Lori Foster

c) Suzanne Brockmann

d) Susan Andersen


2. What actor did Kate meet in high school when he dated one of her cousins?

a) Josh Lucas

b) James Caviezel

c) Rainn Wilson

d) Brendan Fraser


3. What romance author does Kate's youngest want to have a play date with?

a) Pat White

b) Lucy Monroe

c) Jane Porter

d) Julia Quinn


4. What real life event does Kate always use in "two truths and a lie" to throw people off -- because nobody believes it happened?

a) Sang karaoke in a Filipino restaurant in the middle of Munich

b) Once auditioned to be a cast member at Disneyland

c) Married her husband after knowing each other three weeks

d) Published her first short story at the age of fifteen


5. Kate's "guilty pleasure" reality show -- the one she never misses?

a) The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency

b) Top Design

c) America's Next Top Model

d) Project Runway


So there you go. Get guessing -- and you could win!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Devil Inside -- First Look


So I just got my back cover blurb for The Devil Inside this week, and thought I'd share it with you. Enjoy!

It’ll take more than one go-round to win this rodeo of the heart…

Thirteen years after her father was killed in a rodeo accident, Samantha Quincannon is facing her worst nightmare. An EMT, she has avoided rodeo duty like the plague. Now her career depends on her ability to face down her fear.

Cody Shaw hasn’t seen Sam since the night of her father’s accident, and their reunion is anything but typical. So is her reaction when a bull ride gone wrong lands him, broke and bleeding, in her reluctant care. And, until he’s well enough to travel, in her bed. He knows he’s far from a model patient, but would it kill Sam not to act like she’d rather climb on a bull herself than have him underfoot?

On thing hasn’t changed—their off-the-charts sexual tension. They both put up a good fight, but soon the heat burns through their resistance.

Even as Sam fights to protect her heart from the one danger she didn’t see coming, something else becomes clear. Rodeo is in Cody’s blood, and nothing, not even Sam, can make him quit taking crazy risks.

It’s up to Sam to decide if she’s ready to put on her big-girl boots—and ride.

Warning: Lots of hot, sweaty, down-and-dirty lovin'. Cowgirl up!

The Jack Benny Birthday


1. Never let your children know *what* birthday you're celebrating. They will gladly share it with their schoolmates, their schoolmates' parents, the principal of the school, and the wait staff at Red Robin.

2. When you turn 39, people jokingly ask "which 39th birthday is it?"

3. The free birthday sundae at Red Robin is almost worth the embarrassment of having your waiter announce to everyone that you're celebrating your 39th birthday today. Five minutes later, they make the same announcement about a four year old.

4. In all, it was a lovely birthday. I got some fabulous gifts -- including some camping cookware that my parents evidently smuggled into the house and hid in the dress-up box over a week ago, with the collusion of the kids, who managed to keep it totally quiet until the actual birthday. If you knew my kids, you'd be very impressed. Keeping secrets is not a strong suit.

5. I also got a sleeping bag, a new watch, a Barnes and Noble gift card (squeeeee!), and a plane ticket to California, so I can attend a very good friend's wedding. Yay!
What's the best present you ever got?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Birthday to Meeee....

Yes, it's true!


Today is my birthday. And to celebrate, I'm throwing a party! The best part? You get the presents!


From today through Monday, here on my blog, everyone who posts will be entered in a drawing to win. I've got some cool gifties to share, so I hope to see you here!

Friday, October 10, 2008

26,772...

Followed by "The End".


Yes, The Devil Inside is finally done, beta-read, and turned in to my editor. Whew! Mega-thanks to Maia for dropping everything to check it out for me.


To celebrate, here's another peek at the cover. Just because I lurve it so much.


(And wait'll you guys see the blurb. Squeeee!)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Wanna See Something Pretty?


Available in print December 29, 2008

Book BIN Tuesday -- Passionate


Whoo-hoo! Today's the day -- release day for Passionate, the very first release from Anthea Lawson!



I've been looking forward to this book for ages, ever since I found out Anthea (an RWA chapter-mate) sold her first book. Or, should I say, their first book, because Anthea Lawson is actually a husband and wife writing team. Go, team!



Anyway, I digress. Here's the blurb:



Temptation…


Before she must wed, Lily Strathmore decides upon one final adventure—a botanical expedition through the wilds of North Africa with her uncle and his family. In search of a fabled bloom, James Huntington soon joins them. Handsome to a fault and rakish to boot, he has the maddening habit of catching Lily at her most improper. And his sensual kisses are only the beginning of their passionate intimacy…


True Love…


Huntington finds the beautiful Miss Strathmore impossible to resist. With each passing day, their desire for each other grows. And in his wildest dreams, Lily is his—and his alone.



Doesn't it sound yummy?



Okay, your assignment for this week -- hunt down a copy of Passionate and Buy It Now!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Book BIN Tuesday -- Banned Books Week




"Every banned book enlightens the world." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson



I've always loved books. Big oversized hardcovers, thick paperbacks with the covers falling off, anything in between. From a very early age I was a voracious reader, glomming my way through an author's backlist once I'd discovered them. (Of course, at that time I didn't know what "glomming" or "backlist" meant -- I'd just run to the librarian, hand her a book and say, "What else have you got by this author?")



Which is why Banned Books Week is so important to me. So many of the books I see on those lists of challenged or banned books were ones I read and loved as a kid, and I'm appalled at the thought of other kids not having the opportunity to experience them as well.



I went searching, and found a couple of lists of challenged books: from 1990-2000, and 2000-2007. I wasn't school-age when these books were challenged, but I've read a LOT of them anyway. Some of my favorites?



Harry Potter series, JK Rowling (my kids glommed these this summer -- it was a kick discussing the stories with them!)


The Giver by Lois Lowry (damn fine YA novel.)


A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle


Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan


The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton


The Color Purple by Alice Walker


A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein (Are you KIDDING me?)


James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (Ditto!)


Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher (OMG best YA author for reluctant readers, esp. teen boys)


The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney (Made me cry)


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain


Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson


And Tango Makes Three by Richardson and Parnell




Books on the list that I taught back when I was a junior high English teacher:


Go Ask Alice (companion to Romeo and Juliet, along with Like Water for Chocolate and other challenged books); Bless Me, Ultima; Summer of my German Soldier (in WWII unit, along with The Diary of Anne Frank.).



Books my kids love that I can't believe are on these lists:



The Junie B. Jones books



Anything by Shel Silverstein or Roald Dahl



Captain Underpants? Seriously?



Goosebumps



Scary Stories



The Stupids






So my Book BIN suggestion this week? Take a look at a list of challenged books, and go out and buy one. Support an author who's been affected. Read something wonderful. And then pass it on.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Book BIN Tuesday -- Nice and Naughty

Book BIN returneth!

Yep, I'm turning over a new leaf and kicking off my blog return with a brand spankin' new Book BIN! This one came out last week but it caught my eye. Hot cover, sexy blurb -- whaddaya think?


After a disastrous lesson in heartache, Alexa Jones confines her adrenaline rushes to intense boardroom negotiations. When her legendary control cracks and she indulges in a high-octane encounter on the hood of her sports car, she never plans to see the enticing stranger again. Then she finds herself across the boardroom table from him and there’s suddenly more at stake than just her career.

Justin Winston got more than he bargained for on his summer drive, but he should have known nothing is ever that easy. He’s met the woman of his dreams yet he doesn’t know who she is. Luckily, he can always count on his practical brother for the things that matter, and this time is no exception. But, when a web of corporate espionage entangles them all, it’s clear Justin isn’t the only one who’s fallen for their mysterious siren.

In Justin and Jason, Alexa finds something as unique and rare as the patent they will risk their lives to secure. The freedom to explore—and satisfy—the full range of her desires. From naughty to nice. Can Alexa accept the love of two men?

Can one man satisfy Alexa’s appetites? Or will it take two?

Jayne's website
Book Video
Buy link

Oh, and another little tidbit -- this is part of the Menage and More anthology, so you can look forward to seeing it in print as well!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Win Stuff!

Hey all!

Just thought I'd send you on over to Angie's blog, where she's asking for input on Samhain covers. Post your favorites, and you could win a prize!

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Arrr!

Avast, ye scurvy dogs! 'Tis that most important feast day, the one we look forward to all year. I'm speaking, of course, of Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Some fun in honor of the day:

Pirate Personality Test
Pirate Name Generator

And, of course, a little "Aye" Candy:













So enjoy the day! My Pirate name is Ham-Hands Misty. How about you?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tagged! Three Lists of Five

Yes, I know, I've been MIA for a while now.


Big deadline coming up SOON, so I'm hunkered down in my writing cave for the time being. But the lovely Diane Craver just tagged me with this interesting meme, so I didn't want to wait to post it.


I am going to list three categories of books.

5 MUST Read Books, 5 Books on Your Nightstand, and 5 Look For These Soon.

Anyone I tag should put these same lists on their blog but SUBTRACT one book from each list and ADD one of their own. (My added titles are in RED.)

Then they should tag at least 5 more bloggers. It will be fun to see how the lists change as it goes around the blogosphere.

Please come back to this post and leave a comment so I can see how the lists are changing as they go around the blogosphere.

Since this is Book Buzz…please keep your lists to titles released in 2007-2009.

MUST Read Books:

Freefall by JoAnn Ross

It Only Takes A Moment by Mary Jane Clark

A Mile in My Flip-Flops by Melody Carlson

Yellow Moon by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Conception by Kalisha Buckhanon

5 Books on the Nightstand:

My Best Friend's Girl by Dorothy Koomson

Sun Kissed by Catherine Anderson

Crazy in Love by Lani Diane Rich

From Harvey River by Lorna Goodison

Trading Dreams at Midnight by Dianne McKinney

5 Look For These Soon:

Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Wanted by Shelley Shephard Gray

Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins

Midnight: A Gangster Love Story by Sister Souljah

The Hood Life: A Bentley Manor Tale by Meesha Mink and De’nesha Diamond


And since I'm on deadline, I'm going to tag anyone who stops by the blog and wants to play. Have fun!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Road Trip Report -- Photo Edition

You know what? I think I'm going to let the pictures do the talking on this post, because I just don't have the words to match these views. Absolutely breathtaking. And the pictures really don't do them justice, either. (At their first view of the Grand Canyon, the kids kept saying, "It's like a painting!" For me, it was the *depth* of the view, which just can't be captured in a photo. But I tried.)

Enjoy!

THE GRAND CANYON




























MONUMENT VALLEY































ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, UTAH





















Saturday, August 09, 2008

Freebie Friday Winner!



So here's the Disneyland-themed prize for this week -- a trio of cute Disney gifts! Included is a tin of Disney mints, a magnetic notepad, and a Mickey magnet. And the winner of this prize is:




Jane!


Jane, please contact me off-list with your address so I can send it your way.


And stay tuned for more road trip reports next week!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Road Trip Report -- California Adventure



When people say they're going to Disneyland, California Adventure is often wrapped up in that statement. After all, it's just across the plaza from Disneyland proper, so why not refer to the whole shebang as Disneyland, like Walt Disney World in Florida encompasses everything from Magic Kingdom to Epcot to that Animal place. :)



Why not, indeed? I dunno. I just wanted to separate the two in my posts because the Disneyland-titled ones were threatening to eat the blog, they were getting so danged long.



My youngest had been itching to hit DCA (Disney's California Adventure) since the minute we turned onto South Harbor Boulevard. See, last year said child was a quarter-inch too short for Grizzly River Run, a fact that was heartbreaking at the time.



This year, the kid topped the required 42 inches by almost two extra inches. And wanted to test out the ride NOW!



So, midway through our second day of the four-day pass, we headed across the plaza to DCA.



Now, DCA is smaller than Disneyland, so it can be a little more manageable. There are a few really popular rides -- Tower of Terror, Soarin' over California, the aforementioned Grizzly River Run, California Screamin', and the new Toy Story Midway Mania. All except Toy Story have the FastPass option, which is lovely. (Although what is it with new rides and no FastPass? Argh, the lines, the lines...)



We did the FastPass tango right away, picking up tickets for Soarin' before going on the ride, and then heading to the far end of the park where California Screamin' is -- right next to Toy Story. Amazingly, Toy Story only had a forty minute wait, so we got in line. (Later, I noticed that the line is set up to hold people in a queuing area across the walkway, which I thought was overkill -- until the next morning. Oy!)



Loved, loved, loved this ride. I'm only sorry it wasn't FastPass-enabled, because I would have been on that thing many times over. It's a 3D ride based on midway games, from balloon popping to plate smashing, and the ride moves from game to game at a really fast pace. It's fun, easy to do (unlike Buzz Lightyear, which frustrates me to no end because I can never tell which little red dot is mine), and a kick in the pants. Big, big thumbs up.



Once done with that, we got FastPasses for California Screamin' and headed over to Grizzy River Run for FastPasses/first ride, too. As expected, youngest child LOVED it.



Hint of the Day, part one: If you have anything in your possession that can't get wet, they evidently have lockers available for short-term use. I didn't know that until it was too late to make a difference. A good alternative is to carry ziplock baggies to put your camera, phone, etc. in so they stay dry, even if you don't. And you will get wet. After one ride, my DH and I didn't fully dry out for about five hours.



The next day, we went back to DCA at opening, which is later than Disneyland -- 10 am at the time we were there. We got there at about 9:15, hoping they might let us in early even if the rides weren't open yet. Sure enough, they opened the gates, then told people to follow the signs to Toy Story if they were interested in getting in line.



We wanted to give it another go, so we got in line, fairly close to the front. A cast member led us through the park, along paths I'd never seen before (someone joked that they were just yanking our chains, making us take the longest possible route to see if we'd follow), and then made us stop for about fifteen minutes.



Right before "opening", they led us to the ride itself, weaving the line through the many twists and turns to get to the entryway. At one point I looked back and the line behind us stretched over the bridge and past the point of visibility. We guesstimated there were over a thousand people waiting at that point.



Very, very glad I didn't wait to get in line.



Had another great day at DCA, skipping the shows for more time on the rides (though if we go again in the next year or so, we'll definitely make time for Aladdin. It's a great show.). At about five that evening, we decided to head to Tower of Terror for our last ride. It was so empty, we rode it four times in less than an hour. Walk in, go on the ride, walk out, go around the corner and walk in again. It was great.



Tip of the Day: Multiple rides in a row can be great fun. If you're lucky enough to happen upon a favorite when there aren't many people waiting, go for it!



And to that cast member who singled me out in the front row the last time through during the "no photography or videotaping" spiel, staring at me and saying he didn't want to see anything about the ride on my MySpace page, here's a message:



Nope, no MySpace. But you never said anything about Blogspot. So there. ;)


Tomorrow -- first Road Trip Report winner!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Book BIN Tuesday -- The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland

Yes, I'll post part two of the Disneyland report sometime today (maybe late -- kids are still home for the summer, but DH is back at work!), but I didn't want to neglect Book BIN Tuesday, either. So in keeping with the theme of the week, my recommendation today is The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland.


I've used this book on every trip to D-land (three in the last four years!), and it's a lifesaver. Want to avoid long lines? Wondering what rides will make you toss your cookies? Trying to find a hotel you can walk from to the park (instead of driving or taking a shuttle)? This is the book for you.


One big help I learned about from this book -- the Baby Pass. Do you have a kid too short to go on one of the rides? Or a youngster who trembles at the thought of going in the Tower of Terror? Here's the scoop -- get in line as a family. At the first Cast Member, tell them you need a Baby Pass. (Or Kid Pass if your little one might get offended at the title.) You'll receive a slightly-larger-than-index-card-sized form good for some serious line-skipping. One parent goes on the ride with any/all child(ren) tall enough to participate. As soon as that parent is done, the second parent can jump ahead, either by getting in the Fast Pass line or going up the exit ramp or whatever the form tells you to do. It's good for up to two people, so if you have one child that's not riding and one that is, the one who is can go twice in a row. Bonus!


That way, you don't have to stand in line twice to get everyone on the ride who can/wants to go, and the kid who can't/won't ride doesn't have to stand around twice as long waiting for everyone else to get done. Pretty cool, huh?


So if you're going to D-land, pick up a copy of this book. They update it every year or so with new info. You may not need to Buy It Now, but if/when you have a trip in the offing, be sure to Buy It, er, Then! :)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Can You Keep a Secret?

That was our challenge this year for vacation. See, we took the kids to Disneyland. And didn't tell them until we got there.


Yeah, they noticed that we were planning a trip -- kinda hard to hide something like that -- but we'd always wanted to surprise them with Disneyland and knew this would be our best year for that. So while the DH and I were on our way back from a much-needed couple vacation early in the month, we were brainstorming how to get them all the way to southern California without tipping them off.


"I know!" One of us said. "Let's tell them we're going to the Grand Canyon!"


Not that Anaheim is truly on the way, but it'd work. Eventually, though, we realised that we'd have to do better than just come up with an alternate, fake destination. No, we'd have to really take them to the Grand Canyon.


With a five-day detour along the way.


No hardship, really. I've never been to the Grand Canyon, so I was pretty excited about heading there as well. But it was funny to see our jaunt to CA turn into a twice-as-long road trip throughout the Southwest, all for the opportunity to surprise the kids.


And the surprise? We made it to South Harbor Boulevard, the road running right in front of Disneyland, without any of them figuring it out. Once or twice they'd say something like, "Hey, isn't this the hotel we stayed at last time we drove to Disneyland?", but it would be quickly forgotten in the grand scheme of things. In fact, we had the kids hunting for a Cold Stone Creamery as we took the exit to D-land, and the older two missed the visual clues at first because they were searching for ice cream. It took the four year old to yell out, "Isn't that the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror?", to which we replied, "Surprise!"


The looks on their faces were totally worth it.


Next up: The Disney Report

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Book BIN Tuesday -- At Any Cost


The NASSD Counter-Terrorist Agency 1
At Any Cost
When a NASSD double agent steals the technology for a deadly virus, counter-terrorist agent Dan Weber is more than ready to take on the complex and potentially deadly mission to hunt down the technology he once protected with his life, even if it means babysitting a gorgeous, yet reckless tomboy agent.
Rookie JT Turner is hungry to prove her worth in a profession dominated by men. Even though she can hold her own against a dozen trained agents, she's been labeled a screw up after too many mishaps. JT would do anything to redeem herself, even accept a shady mission to track down a phantom disc NASSD denies ever existed.
Undermanned and unarmed, can they unravel a madman's plot and remove the threat before it is unleashed? In a race against time, the line between desire and destiny will blur, and their true desires will finally be met.
****
I love this cover (Angelina Jolie kick-butt heroine!) and the story sounds fabulous. Why not head over to Siren this week and Buy It Now? I know I will!

Monday, July 28, 2008

MTA Monday -- Meet Allie K. Adams

NAME: Allie K. Adams

WEBSITE: http://www.alliekadams.com

BLOG: http://alliechat.blogspot.com

TITLE OF FIRST BOOK: At Any Cost

RELEASE DATE: July 28th, 2008

FAVORITE WRITING STORY/SAYING/MEMORY: My favorite writing story is when I had a terrible, mean, nasty boss. He would belittle me in front of others and then just smile as I turned red. When I quit, I told him he should have been nicer to me. When he asked why I told him he might just end up in one of my books—and not in a good way. One of the very first books I ever wrote, I cast him as the bad guy. He was terrible, mean, and nasty in the book. He died in a very slow, very unpleasant way. It was extremely therapeutic. He he he.

FAVORITE NON-WRITING STORY/SAYING/MEMORY: Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. –Eleanor Roosevelt

COMFORT FOOD: Anything covered in chocolate that won't kill me (I'm allergic to nuts)

COMFORT READ: I know this sounds geeky, but I love to read the Dilbert books. When I don't want to have to think, those are perfect.

YOUR PERFECT DAY: Wake early at my leisure, actually jump on my elliptical so I'd stop feeling guilty every time I look at it, be able to eat anything I want and not have to worry about it going right to my hips (which might happen if I actually jumped on the elliptical), and bake out in the sun while the computer automagically (that is totally a word!) types my thoughts. Ah. Sheer bliss!

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?: I'm working on heating my scenes in Seek and Destroy and Rescue Me to a sizzling rating. After all, as my tag line states, if it doesn't sizzle, it isn't hot enough. I'm also working on a special ménage project for my publisher.
Thanks for stopping by, Allie! Best of luck on your new book!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Guest Blogger -- Title Gods/Goddesses Needed!


A novel by any other name…still wouldn't have a title.

Sometimes a story comes with a title attached. Other times finding a title is like pulling teeth without any anesthetic. In my experience, there is no in-between. Right now, I'm faced with the latter. I have a completed manuscript just aching for a name. I even went so far as to write a tagline, blurb, and warning—a task I usually dread—in an attempt to find a title. So far, no joy. I asked around at Slash & Burn. Now I'm asking you here on Kate Davies Blogs! I want to hear your suggestions based on the aforementioned tagline, blurb, and warning, which I will post below. No suggestion is too silly, too bawdy, too schlocky, too snarky, too purple. Hell, my first novel was named by one of my beta readers with the accompanying statement that "it's better than nothing". Which it was, since it made it to publication. And speaking of that, I'll even sweeten the pot, shall I? When I sell this thing (I'm practicing my positive thinking. Kate's so good at it and I'm trying to learn from her.), if it goes to print with the title you suggested, you'll get a free download. Sound fair? All right. Here's what I've got.

Title: (You tell me...)

Author: Maia Strong

Genre: M/M erotic fantasy romance

When internal conflict is mirrored by civil unrest, Jonas must choose between truth and safety.On the surface, Jonas Vaneau's life is perfectly average. He works at the law courts five days week, spends Sabbath night with his parents and every other night with his cat, and tolerates the unending string of single women his mother invites to Sabbath dinner. But his routine life cannot provide what he most desires—at least not as long as he must continue to pretend to be the person his overbearing parents want him to be.

An unusual encounter with a seemingly ordinary client causes Micah Hartshorn considerable consternation. When Jonas inadvertently and inexplicably breezes right past his emotional defenses, Micah finds himself involved in a drama that is far beyond anything for which his professional skills have prepared him. Figuring out this new puzzle isn't in his plans—especially not when he has his own issues to deal with both at home and at work.

All personal problems are swept up in political unrest when new laws change daily life for everyone in the city. Conflict grows among a population divided by new policies. What chance does an ordinary legal journeyman have to fix the city's troubles when he can't even fix his own?

Warning: This book contains drinking, sex, language, politics, and organized religion; nine-year-old civil rights activists; legalized prostitution; and foreign food.
So... Help?

Links! We got links!
http://www.maiastrong.com/

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Book BIN Tuesday -- Into the Fire


Yeah, yeah, I know. Every July it's the same thing. "Suz Brockmann has a new book! Must buy now!"

Drives my DH 'round the bend, too.

But I can't help it. I love, love, love her books. And I can't wait to read this one. Here's the scoop:


Vinh Murphy -- ex-Marine and onetime operative for the elite security firm Troubleshooters Incorporated -- has been MIA ever since his wife, Angelina, was caught in a crossfire and killed during what should have been a routine bodyguard assignment. Overcome with grief, Murphy blames the neo-Nazi group known as the Freedom Network for her death. Now, years later, Freedom Network leader Tim Ebersole has been murdered -- and the FBI suspects Murphy may have pulled the trigger. To prevent further bloodshed, Murphy's friends at Troubleshooters scramble to find him and convince him to surrender peacefully.

Murphy himself can't be sure what he did or didn't do during the years he spent mourning and lost in an alcohol-induced fog. He does know he occasionally sought solace from Hannah Whitfield, a former police officer and the very friend who'd introduced him to his beloved late wife.

But Hannah, still grappling with the deafness that resulted from an injury sustained while on duty, was fighting her own battles. For years Hannah had feelings for Murphy, and one painful night their suffering brought them together in a way neither expected -- and both regretted.

But finally, Murphy is ready to rejoin the living. As always, he finds himself knocking on Hannah's door, and as always, his longtime friend welcomes him back into her home. Yet even as Murphy slowly rebuilds his splintered life, he continues to fight his growing feelings for Hannah. Then he learned of Ebersole's murder and comes to believe that the Freedom Network has targeted him -- and Hannah -- to avenge their leader's death.

Now Murphy must face the terrifying prospect of losing to violence another woman he loves.
As the Troubleshooters desperately search for him, Murphy races toward a deadly confrontation with the Freedom Network and the ultimate choice: surrender his life in the hopes that Hannah will be spared, or risk everything to salvage whatever future they may have together.



*bouncing up and down* I can't wait!

I just hope I can track down a copy soon so I can Buy It Now!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Book BIN Tuesday -- The Ideal Wife


I'm on a bit of a Mary Balogh kick these days. Nothing like a big, juicy historical to dive into on a lazy summer day. So I'm pretty chuffed that her early books are being re-released, since I missed them the first time around.


I started reading Balogh somewhere in the middle of the Slightly series, and of course had to go back and read them in order, followed by the Simply series. Now, I'm hunting down her other books, so it's very nice to see her earlier works being re-released. Makes the search a bit easier. :)


I just finished The Tangled Web tonight, and have Web of Love on hold at the library, but I'll have to stop at the bookstore and pick up The Ideal Wife this week as well. Here's the blurb:


When Miles Ripley, Earl of Severn, learns that his mother and sisters are about to descend upon him in London, he is in despair. For they have a bride picked out for him and are busy with wedding plans-and he does not know how to say no. They love him, and the trouble is that he loves them too. He vows to his best friend that if only someone would set before him the plainest, dullest, most ordinary female, he would marry her without delay.


He is not really serious, of course, but the very next day a woman who resembles the one he described to an uncanny degree appears in the visitors' salon of his home, claiming a distant kinship and begging for a reference so that she can seek employment. Suddenly Miles becomes very serious indeed and offers her something quite different from what she expects.

The only problem is that Abigail Gardiner is not at all the woman Miles judges her to be during that first encounter. Because she has just been dismissed from her employment for insubordination and is feeling rather desperate, she has come to the earl-a very distant relation indeed-with a deliberately plain, demure mien.

The drastic mistake Miles has made does not bode well for the future!


Now, this book was originally released in 1991, so I may discover that what I love about Mary Balogh books has evolved since her earliest works. But that's part of the fun of reading, isn't it? So, I'm off to the bookstore this week to Buy It Now. If you like Mary Balogh (or are a fan of regency romance), why not join me?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Travel Travails

I'm back!

And very, very tired. After a long day in the car, the DH and I are back from a just-the-two-of-us vacation. We had a great time, except for the hotel room saga.

Now, if you're a reader of Lucy Monroe's blog, you know that she has stories to tell about all of her trips, with at least one thing going wrong on every vacation. Our room saga fits right in with that theme.

We had a nice room to start with. About halfway up the tower, with a nice view and decent accommodations. But the second day we noticed that the door wasn't latching consistently.

Door that won't shut or lock? Um, no. We called and asked for someone to come fix it. The maintenance guy showed up right away, took a look at it, and said it'd take a while to fix, so we should probably be moved to another room.

Five minutes later, we're shoving things in suitcases while a bellman stands outside the door ready to take us to our next room. We get there, tip the bellman, unpack, and discover that 1) the toilet is close to overflowing and 2) there's no hot water. At all.

Another phone call, another fast pack job, and the same bellman is waiting to move us yet again. Room three, another tip, we unpack, and there's a knock on the door. It's the same maintenance guy, clearly confused to find us in a different room than the one he'd set up for us earlier. We explain the problems with room number two, and he shakes his head. He'd been sent to THIS room on a work order for the air conditioning, which is spewing water all over the carpet. We, of course, hadn't noticed this yet. Nor had we noticed the missing night lock, which the maintenance guy pointed out as well.

"That's it," he said. "You guys deserve a suite." He sets it up, get us our room keys (the fourth set of the day), and helps us carry the luggage up to the top floor so we don't have to call the bellman yet again. Which was a good thing, because I was out of cash for the tip.

Oh, and did I mention that I'd left a library book in the first room and had to run back there to get it, luckily running into the housekeeper who'd just put it in the storage room?

Or the fact that during this time frame the elevator was out of service for almost an hour while the fire department investigated an alarm, which turned out to be two wires touching accidentally?

On the bright side, we got a huge two-room suite with a fabulous view and lots of space, for the same price as our original hotel room. And all it cost us was three moves, several panicky pack jobs, and a handful of tips.

What's your favorite (or funniest) vacation story?

Friday, July 04, 2008

Beach Blanket Blog Party Winners!

Well, it's Freebie Friday here at Kate Davies Blogs!, so what better day to announce the winners of the Beach Blanket Blog Party contest?

Every comment between Monday the 23rd and Monday the 30th earned an entry into this prize drawing, and the random integer generator picked the following winners. Congratulations!

Winner of the Chesapeake Bay Candle three-pack, featuring Tropical Drink-scented tealights (Mango Mojito, Berry Sangria, and Papaya Spritz):

Jean P.

Winner of the Very Cherry flip-flop-shaped manicure set (which is so cute I was tempted to keep it for myself):

Michelle

Winner of a beach-ball-topped bottle stopper and a margarita-shaped notepad:

Kimmy L.

And winner of a free download of HOOKED:


Robyn L.


Congrats to all the winners! Please contact me off-blog with your address or, in Robyn's case, your preferred e-book format, and I'll get those prizes out to you as soon as possible. Note: I'll be away from my home computer for a few days, so if you don't get your prizes right away, don't worry! They'll be in the mail (or e-mail) soon.

And thanks to everyone who posted during the blog party. You made the week so much fun!

Monday, June 30, 2008

It's Here!

HOOKED is now available at Siren! *happy dance*

Today's the last day to enter the beach blanket blog party contest. All posts through midnight PST will be entered in the drawing for some great prizes! Winners will be announced in the next day or two -- I'm spending tomorrow on the road, so it may be Wednesday before I can post the winners.

Thanks, again, for hanging out with me during the blog party. I've had a good time, and hope you have as well. I look forward to hanging out with you again soon!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Choose the Author Photo

So I asked my cousin to take some photos at the beach so I could update my author photo. I really liked the pics she took, and am having a hard time deciding which to choose. Below are my three favorite.
Which one do you like best? Or should I try again?

Selection A












Selection B







Selection C

Siren/Bookstrand Readership Drive!

Are you a member of the Siren/Bookstrand yahoo group yet? If not, today's the day to join! Tons of prizes are scheduled to be given away during the Membership Drive from 9:00 am-Midnight EST. Go here to sign up -- and read on to see what's happening!

MEMBERSHIP DRIVE
Blog Scavenger Hunt at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm, and 10pm. Answers can be found at http://blog.sirenbookstrand.com/. Display all posts made by any author by clicking on their name at the bottom of their most recent post (Labels: Author's Name).

Author Page Scavenger Hunt at 10:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm, 4:30pm, 6:30pm, 8:30pm, and 10:30pm. Answers can be found at the author's page at either http://www.sirenpublishing.com/ or http://www.bookstrand.com/ website in bio, the interview Q&A, or the book reviews.

Excerpt Scavenger Hunt at 11am., 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9pm, and 11pm. Answers can be found at http://www.sirenpublishing.com/, http://www.bookstrand.com/, or the author's own website.

INSTRUCTIONS: From each scavenger hunt, participants have 90 minutes to send in the answers to ALL the questions posted by the hosts. Post your answers in one go either in this loop http://readers.sirenbookstrand.com/ or send an email to SirenBookStrand@yahoogroups.com. The winners are the FIRST four participants who sent in the correct answers to all questions in each hunt session (not 1 answer can be wrong). The 4 winners in each round win an e-book of choice from either Siren or BookStrand, including available ARCs of upcoming releases. Not responsible for delays in postings. We go by whatever Yahoo sent through.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Note to Self...


1. If setting blog posts to go live at some point in the future, it's helpful to choose the right date.


2. If planning to use Wi-Fi while on vacation to provide backup in case said blog posts don't post on time, make sure Wi-Fi is actually available at the vacation site.


Sorry there was no new post Wednesday. See notes above for reason. On the other hand, the reunion was great, seeing some family members again after years(!) was wonderful, and the campground/vacation housing was super. I'll have lots of pictures up later to share. In the meantime, enjoy the sunset from Fort Worden State Park, on Puget Sound in Washington State...