Thursday, March 29, 2007

Because Michelle Asked...'s a scan of me as a fictional character. :)
Need a little more backstory?

Way back when, a buddy of mine, Charlie Wise, wrote a series of comic books published by a local small press. Called Blue Moon: The Adventures of Lyssa and the Pirates, it was a fabulous time-travel/fantasy/romance with great characters, fun storylines, and amazing artwork.

In the final issue, Charlie named a character after me. Katiebob is the sweet, naive, heretofore unknown wife of Allen (Lyssa's sweetheart). She causes heartbreak, confusion, pain, and a major sea battle. She rocks!
Anyway, Michelle asked me to post a pic from the comic, so after much searching (note to self: helps to keep all of them in the same place), I found the right issue and scanned it in. And no, I don't think it looks much like me. (I think I look more like Lyssa, to be perfectly honest. She's the one with big glasses, looking stunned, in the middle of the second pic.)

So there you have it!

My claim to fame. After all, how many authors can both write fictional characters, and be one at the same time? :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #9 -- Procrastination Edition!


1. Researching birthday party etiquette for Family magazine article.

2. Writing Family magazine article (due Friday).

3. Writing proposal for another novella trilogy.

4. Writing my newsletter.

5. Cleaning off my desk (who knows how deep the layers go? I'm thinking I can start identifying the age of items by their location in the strata.)

6. Folding laundry.

7. Digging through the filing cabinet for stray Hershey's Kisses. No, wait. That's what I'm attempting NOT to do.

8. Verifying status of students in online classes (the day job).

9. E-mailing H. S. counselors about students in online classes.

10. Making lunches for tomorrow.

11. Writing bills.

12. Changing my write-on-wipe-off calendar so it has upcoming months, not months past.

13. Sleeping -- because it's late, dammit! :)
So what are you putting off today?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Book BIN Tuesday -- Black Dagger Brotherhood

Okay, I admit it. I'm behind the curve.

I'm so far behind, I can barely *see* the curve.

But I cannot tell a lie. I started reading JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series ... this weekend.

I've been hearing about the books for ages, of course. She's got fans all over the 'net. (Including my editor -- Sorry, Angie, for not listening to you sooner!) And all that positive buzz finally wore me down.

The good thing, of course, is that I've read the first three in quick succession, and can pick up Lover Revealed as soon as I want. There's something really great about reading several books in a series right in a row. Now, though, I'm almost wanting to postpone picking up the latest book because I know it will be a while before I can get the one after that.

Needless to say, I'm hooked. I loved the books, I loved the characters, I think I was brought to tears at least once in every book -- everything I'm looking for in a series to glom.

So if you're like me and haven't tried JR Ward yet, I highly recommend that you do. They're definitely books to Buy It (them) Now.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Winner of Shorts Contest

Big thanks to everyone who posted on my question about short stories and novellas in anthologies. I got some great information!

And congrats to the lucky, random winner of my contest --

Cathy, you've won one of my shorts! :) Your choice, any of my backlist titles. I hope you enjoy!
Just send your e-mail addy and formatting preference to kate AT kate-davies DOT com to collect!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #8 -- Thirteen Signs of Spring

1. The daphne is blossoming. Sadly, the most recent frost/snowstorm damaged it pretty badly, so it's not as full and fragrant as usual. I'm hoping it comes back next year.
2. Daffodils, crocuses, and those little purple cone-topped flowers planted by the previous owner are starting to bloom.
3. The tulips are coming up, though they aren't quite ready to pop yet.
4. The blue jays are building their nest in the japanese maple.
5. Girls at the elementary school down the road are starting to wear skirts and capris -- who cares if it's 40 degrees out!
6. Lots of plants for sale. Everywhere.
7. Strawberries on sale at Safeway.
8. An inexplicable urge to weed. (I generally lie down until it goes away.)
9. It's park-going time! (At least according to my youngest, who has an unerring eye for playground equipment.)
10. Dang, I have to start wearing something besides big heavy sweaters?
11. Spring break is a week and a half away!
12. Bird song and lawnmowers. (Hopefully not together -- LOL!)
13. Open windows in the afternoon make the house seem so fresh and clean.
Is spring making itself known in your neck of the woods?

Kate's Shorts -- A Contest!

No, not THOSE kinds of shorts --I mean short fiction. Novellas, short stories, flash fiction. You name it, I've probably written it, from 1000 word short-shorts to 25K novellas.

I've written longer books as well, of course. But you may have noticed that all of my books currently out with Samhain are shorts.

I love the format, both to read and to write. I especially love picking up a new anthology and charging through all the varied stories. I'm curious, though -- what do you look for in an anthology?

Do you prefer connected stories, or a wide variety? Do you enjoy themed collections, or stories that revolve around a group of people who are connected in some way? (Family members, friends, co-workers of some sort...)

In other words, what makes an anthology work for you?

Everyone who posts will be eligible for a giftie. :) Deadline is Friday, March 23, midnight EST.

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts!


Monday, March 19, 2007

Book BIN Tuesday

Welcome to the very first Book BIN Tuesday!

What's Book BIN Tuesday, you ask? Well, BIN stands for Buy It Now, so it's my day to pimp a book I'm really excited about. :) It may be a hot-off-the-presses book coming out that day, or a book I just finished reading and loved. It could be an older title that's one of my favorites. The only thread tying these books together is that I think you should, well, Buy It Now.

And what's the first book I'll be highlighting? (Drumroll, please...)

This book came out a couple of weeks ago, and I ran out and bought it right away, even though I knew I wouldn't have a chance to read it for a while (the new day job is taking waaaaay more time than I'd anticipated). Now, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I can't wait to dive right in.

Why No Safe Place? Well, I adore JoAnn, both as a writer and as an all-around fabulous person. I'm on a writer's loop with her, and she's incredibly generous with her time and expertise. But beyond that, she writes a kick-ass story, whether it's a lyrical Irish love story or a pulse-pounding romantic suspense. I don't think I've found a single Ross book I haven't loved.

Plus, the story behind the story is fascinating, too. JoAnn was in the process of writing this New Orleans-set book when Katrina hit, so it got shelved for a while. I'm thrilled that it's finally here!

So I'm going to read it soon -- probably this week, once the day job paperwork is caught up. And I hope if you do Buy It Now, you let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #7 -- Wedding Edition!

Nope, I'm not getting married. (My husband of twelve years might object!) But the daughter of a family friend is getting hitched this weekend, and at the bridal shower we got talking about how, after a certain point in your marriage, you really need a second shower just to cycle out all the old and worn-out household items.
So I got to thinking -- what would I want to register for? Here's my list of thirteen:
1. New linens. This one from DKNY is a nice, peaceful bed set.
2. Big, fluffy, thick, towels.
3. And how about bathrobes that match?
4. A Cuisinart.
5. A new set of corningware that actually matches.
6. A set of martini glasses. Because it's depressing having friends over for cosmos and having to drink them out of Wiggles tumblers.
7. A towel heater, because nothing's better than a warm towel on a cold morning!
8. A new vacuum.
9. Pillows! Lots of 'em!
10. Oven mitts and towels that match.
12. Table linens.
13. A chandelier for the dining room. Because the previous owner took the chandelier, left the crystal base, and put a bedroom fixture on it. Bleah.
So how about you? What would be on your list?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I'm having a hard time resisting it -- temptation, that is. In the form of two big packages of Ghirardelli chocolates, not-quite-hidden in the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet. One's mint-chocolate squares, the other a variety mix, and they're both calling my name.


It's not fair, I tell you. I'm in the home stretch of the workout challenge at the health club, and I'm trying to be good. Well, okay. Sorta good.

But when really fabulous chocolate starts singing its siren song, how can I refuse?

So I'm doling out no more than two squares a writing session, pretending that really doesn't count. Besides, isn't dark chocolate supposed to be good for you?

One and a half weeks to go before we weigh out. Then chocolate and me, we're having a nice, loooong discussion. :)

What's your temptation? What are you finding hard to resist?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Shoe Confessions

I bought a pair of shoes this weekend.

Honestly, it shouldn't be such a big deal to me. I'm going to a wedding next weekend, and I needed shoes to go with the dress I'll be wearing. That's another thing -- how in the world did I end up buying three dresses for one wedding?

I swear, I'm such a Libra. On the one hand...but on the other....

Anyway. I bought three dresses, which is what happens when you have three kids in five years and then stay home with them. Your entire wardrobe consists of jeans, sweaters, t-shirts (long and short sleeved), and a whole bunch of outdated "nice" clothes. I went rummaging through my closet for a dress and realized everything seasonal had shoulder pads the size of New Jersey.

So, I bought these dresses, one brown and pink, one yellow with a tiny floral pattern, and one yellow-and-green flowy-type. (That's the technical term for it.) And of course, I don't have shoes that work with any of them.

Now, normally, I'll go to PayLess Shoe Source or one of the outlets (a benefit of living a mile from a big outlet mall) and pick up something inexpensive.

But NOOOO. My hubby needed a dress shirt, and wanted to go to Nordstroms, so off we trundled to Nordy's. Just for fun, I wandered through the women's shoe department, admiring the shoes I could never afford to buy but think are adorable anyway.

And I found it. The Shoe. Nothing fancy, just a cute, slingback, dressy sandal that would work with any one of the three dresses. Against my better judgment, I tried it on.

It fit. Perfectly.

Horrified, I checked out the clearance racks. Surely there would be something less expensive that would work?

I found another, less-costly option, but hubby vetoed it. The other shoe was much better, he said.
I have to admit, it was tough. I have a very hard time spending money on myself. It's so much easier to get something for the kids because, let's face it, they grow so fast new clothes are a necessity much of the time. But this weekend, the spending was on me. And it felt really good.

And so did the shoes. :)

Friday, March 09, 2007



Made it through the week alive.

It's been a crazy few weeks, actually, starting the new day job as well as working on lots of marketing/promo type activities as Challenging Carter was released. It didn't help that I've been living in the House Of Plague -- we've added strep throat, another double ear infection, an unexplained high fever, and two more head colds to the list of illnesses that have blown through our household in the last month. I'm amazed all of us are currently upright.

But all in all, life is good. I went to our local chapter meeting last night, where Jane Porter was presenting. She gave an amazing talk on the biology and chemistry of male-female relationships that blew some doors open for me. I'm inspired. (Thanks, Jane!)

We diagnosed the problem with our daphne (freeze damage from the freak snowstorm last week), caught up on the laundry, and even almost finished cleaning up the kids' room. Ah, bliss!

Now, for fourteen hours sleep. I'd feel like a new woman.

Don't see it happening, but a girl can dream, can't she? :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Thursday Thirteen -- 13 TV Shows I Miss

Thirteen TV Shows I Miss

No, not the ones I miss because I forget they're on or the kids have commandeered the remote again (although those are legion...) These are the shows I loved when they were on and miss watching them now.

1. Anything But Love. Clever banter, fun secondary characters, and the sparks between Marty and Hannah lit up the screen. When he sent her the bottle of rain -- sigh!

2. Caroline in the City. More clever banter, more fun secondary characters, and a great will-they-or-won't-they relationship between cartoonist Caroline and her colorist Richard. (I think I have a thing for sardonic, Eeyore-like heroes -- at least in my sitcoms!)

3. Cheers. Where everybody knows your name! Great, long-lasting characters (as evidenced by my choice for #5).

4. The Drew Carey Show. I especially loved the musical numbers. And Joe Walsh was an inspired casting choice!

5. Frasier. Hands down, the best comedy writing on TV during its tenure. Also features some of the best romantic tension around, in the Niles-pining-for-Daphne years. Personal faves -- The Ski Lodge, Moon Dance, Something Borrowed Someone Blue.

6. Friends. Must-see TV lived up to the name in this show! I loved season 5 -- the Monica and Chandler hookup season. Yes, I'm a sucker for romantic comedy. What, you couldn't tell that already? :)

7. Horatio Hornblower. Yes, I know, technically a miniseries, or string of related movies, or whatever, but I loved 'em! Especially with the yummy Ioan Gruffudd captaining the ship. Rowrl.

8. Lois and Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman. A fun, fresh, flirty version of the comic book fave. Plus Dean Cain in a delish Superman outfit. And yes, another romantic liaison to sigh over.

9. M*A*S*H. I remember watching this every week with my Dad. Loved the interaction of the characters, the great dialogue, the way they could make you laugh hysterically one minute and dissolve in tears the next. One of the best.
10. Moonlighting. David and Maddie. Need I say more?
11. Northern Exposure. Somewhere, I have a picture of myself under the moose sign. Loved the show.
12. Red Dwarf. This show was hit-and-miss for me, since it only seemed to run in marathons during fundraiser drives on the local PBS station, but it really defines my college years. I frequently annoy my husband and confuse my children by quoting from the show.
13. The Wonder Years. A sentimental favorite to round out the list. One of my favorite voiceover shows.

How about you? What were your favorite shows of yesteryear?

Monday, March 05, 2007

One thing I absolutely love about Samhain is the great variety of books they publish. From inspirational to erotica to all points in between, from romance to horror to fantasy to YA, it really is 'all about the story'.

Here's a perfect case in point -- I, Spy, a chick lit by Kate Johnson that has me laughing just from the description.

Never underestimate the blonde.

"The British spy is elegant, suave and sophisticated. The British spy is not blonde, built, and confused."

But Sophie Green is, and she's just been hired by a highly secret government agency. She drives a car the colour of bile and is obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She doesn't know which end of the gun to fire from and her hair hasn't been natural since she was twelve. But that's not going to stop her from trying to save the day, once she figures out who to save it from.

Sexy spies, plane crashes, firebombs and multicoloured cocktails-they're all in a day's work for Sophie. Roll over, Bond, there's a new bombshell in town. And it's got Sophie's name on it...

Warning, this title contains guns, swearing, dark thoughts about cheerful people, incomprehensible Britishisms, and painful sarcasm.

I swear, even the warning is a hoot!

This book is available now, today, hot off the presses. Go buy it! :)

Friday, March 02, 2007

No Surgery For Me!


I got the word this week that I *don't* have carpal tunnel. No explanation as of yet why my fingers/hands keep getting those annoying "sleep" tingles, but CT and nerve damage have been ruled out.

As someone who is joined with her keyboard at the fingertip, this was very good news.

The bad news, of course, was the test required to determine this fact. Something called a nerve connections test. Where I was hooked up to a bunch of wires and shocked with what felt like a cattle prod from wrist to shoulder as the neurologist watched the funny squiggly lines on the computer monitor go up and down.

At one point, my fingers spasmed in a particularly painful grip. I winced. He said, "There it is."

"What?" I squinted at the computer, hoping to see something that made sense.

"Your torture threshold."

Um, good to know.

After the cattle prod portion of the test, we moved on to the second part. Also known as the "poke her with sharp needles until she says ow" part. My doc said no, that wasn't accurate. "I won't stop even if you do say ow."

Everyone's a comedian. Except he wasn't. Day-um, that hurt!

When the nurse asked how I was doing after it was over, I told her I felt like a junkie with really bad aim. Needle marks in my palm, my wrist, my shoulder...

Anyway, no nerve damage, no carpal tunnel. I no longer have to wear wrist splints to bed every night (waaaaay sexy, lemme tell you!).

It's a happy thing. What good thing happened in your life this week?