Thursday, December 17, 2009

NNN Excerpt Thursday - Meet the Heroine

A staccato rap on the door put him on alert. He wasn’t expecting a contact until the bust went down. The last thing he needed was to blow his cover too soon.
"Come in." He sat back in the folding chair. The door opened, and she walked in.
It was the customer. Or rather, The Customer. The one he’d noticed right off, even over the wince-inducing shock of seeing his colleagues in the audience. Of all the places he might expect to see a woman like this, a sleazy strip club was pretty much last on his list.
The first thing he’d noticed about her was her hair. Flame red, with a hint of curl, it swooped around her shoulders like that cartoon babe from Roger Rabbit, all sexy and sort of retro. A half-smile curved full red lips. And her body—have mercy.
What the hell was she doing at Strippendale’s?
"Can I help you?" He prayed the rickety chair wouldn’t collapse and dump him on his ass.
"Yeah," she said, and licked her bottom lip. Shit, who needed a collapsing chair? That little nervous gesture almost dropped him to the floor. "I, uh, really liked your…" She waved her hand around. "Uh, your show."

Hell. If the guys down at the station knew he was getting groupies, he’d never live it down. Then again, a groupie who looked like a long tall shot of sex might not be such a bad thing, either.
"Thanks," he drawled.
"I’m Caroline," She held out her hand.
He shook it, trying not to react to the softness of her skin contrasting with the firmness of her grip. "Tony," he replied, motioning her to sit.
Too late, he remembered that he had the only chair, but before he could offer it to her, she had perched on the counter in front of the mirror. Her skirt hiked up, giving him a splendid view of her long, slim legs.
Why, why, why did he have to meet her here?
And why tonight, fifteen minutes before the operation was shut down for good?
"And I, uh, was wondering…" This time, she bit that poor abused lower lip. He wanted to take it home and lavish it with loving care. Oh, the things he could do with that lip…
Okay, man, focus. "Wondering what?"
She fiddled with her purse, then took a deep breath. "I was wondering if you were available."
"You know, outside the club." She looked him straight in the eye for the first time tonight. "How much do you charge?"
Just like that, his private fantasy turned into another nail in Strippendale’s coffin.
"I really liked you," she continued. "So I was wondering, do I have to clear this with someone, or do you work privately?"
This had to be the first time she’d done this. Otherwise, she’d know that management handled all the gigolo action.
Just her bad luck she decided to take a walk on the sleazy side tonight.
He sighed inwardly, wishing he had met her somewhere else, under very different circumstances. He didn’t understand why the hell someone who looked like her felt the need to pay for sex.
"What are you willing to pay?" If she took the bait, he’d have no choice but to haul her in with the rest.
"I don’t know." She colored a little, an interesting contrast with her gorgeous hair. "I’ve never done this before. Is two hundred enough?"
"Sounds about right." He stood up. Even in her high-heeled shoes, she only came up to his shoulder. Brushing past her, he pushed the door all the way open. "What do you say we head back into the club and finish our negotiations there?"
She smiled at him, and it was like a fist to the gut. Why did she have to be so sexy, so enticing, so—sweet? Her smile had none of the hard-edged cynicism he had grown used to over ten years of working vice.
But if he’d learned anything during those years, it was never to trust appearances.
He held the door for her, taking the opportunity to check out her assets as she walked past him into the hallway. Then he escorted her out of the backstage area—and straight into hell.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

I'm guesting on the Samhain Blog today, complaining about the weather and asking for book recs. Stop by and tell me what I should read!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

NNN Thursday Excerpt: Meet the Hero

Meet Detective Tony DiMarco, hero of Strip Tease:

Well, tonight had been a massive waste of time. She bent over and reached for her purse, which had migrated under the table during the evening. Her fingers brushed the straps, but it was beyond her reach. Cursing under her breath, she twisted underneath the tabletop and stretched a little further.

Suddenly, music blasted from the ancient sound system, startling Caroline and making her jump, smacking her head against the underside of the table.
Tossing out a few more curse words for variety, she wriggled out from under the table, rubbing her head.

Then she stopped, riveted on the stage in front of her. She was tempted to pinch herself, just to make sure she wasn’t fantasizing the man who’d appeared onstage.
And oh, what a fantasy he was! The faux police uniform looked spray-painted on, showcasing a drool-worthy body. His arms flexed and bunched as he released each button on his tight shirt one by one. It fell open to reveal a wide, muscled chest, with the perfect amount of hair—not too fuzzy, not nonexistent—and sleek, lightly tanned skin that begged to be touched.
He stripped off the shirt, tossing it away as he began to work on the fly of his pants. Caroline swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry, as she noticed that the rest of him seemed as large as what had already been revealed.
The music throbbed in the air around her, the theme from a popular police show adding a strong drumbeat as he stripped down to a well-filled-out, and extremely small, brief.
Caroline was gripped by a sudden urge to scream for him to take it all off, even though she knew this was as far as he was going to go. The other strippers had all stopped at their skivvies, which hadn’t bothered her a bit.
Not until now.
Now, she would buy a round of screaming orgasms for the whole room if she got to see Officer Friendly do the full monty.
The music ground to a halt and the lights dimmed, announcing the end of the act. She sat back, disappointed, as he flashed a grin but nothing else while he made his way offstage.
She glanced around, not surprised to find the few other women in the club just as enthralled as she was in the latest act. The partiers had even abandoned their investigation of the X-rated gifts piling the table and were chanting for his return.
Until that moment, Caroline would have given Strippendale’s another three months in business, if that. There was probably a very good reason the club had no competitors, because really, how much of a market was there for a women-only strip club? The audience tonight had been pathetically small. But with a man like that showing off his assets, the club might stand a fighting chance.
Another song started playing, and Caroline shook off her musings. This guy, whoever he was, would be perfect for Mollie’s bachelorette party. And she’d better get backstage and find out if he was available before she lost her chance—and her nerve.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A Winner, an Announcement, and a Recipe!

Whew! Today's blog post is chock-full of stuff that really isn't related to each other. But what the heck, it's Wednesday. Why not?

First, congratulations to HEATHER MAC, winner of Margaret Mallory's Knight of Pleasure. Hope you enjoy the book once your finals are over! Just send your address off-blog and I'll be sure Margaret can get in touch with you.

Second, just in case you missed it yesterday when I was bouncing and flailing and squeeeing all over the internet, my book Lessons Learned has been nominated for an RT Reviewer's Choice Award! It's one of four books nominated in the Indie Press Contemporary Romance category. Color me absolutely gobsmacked! It was totally unexpected and I am so thrilled. Winners will be announced in April at the RT Convention.

Third, it's party day over on the Nine Naughty Novelists' blog! We're answering holiday questions and everyone who comments on the post will be entered in our contest!

Fourth, here's my contribution to the group blog post on NNN - a recipe for Almond Butter Smash Cookies, one of my favorite holiday treats.

2 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons almond extract

Cream together butter and sugar. Add remaining ingredients and beat well.

Roll into 1 inch balls, then roll in sugar (regular or colored). Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press flat with bottom of glass or cookie stamp. Bake at 350* for 12-15 minutes, or until edges are light golden brown.

Easy-peasy! And oh, so delicious. :)

Book BIN Tuesday - Stolen Treasures

Claire Saunders is on the brink of realizing her dreams and putting her past behind her. She could care less about a group of pirates preying on San Diego. Nothing will derail her. Or so she thinks, until she finds herself an unwilling passenger aboard a schooner at sea. A reluctant participant in a covert operation, she sails further and further away from everything she’s worked so hard for. Without her there, it will all fall apart.

Hot-shot agent Dion Gaetani can’t believe he’s been saddled with a civilian. Worse—a woman. Guilt-ridden over a prior op gone bad, this is a burden he doesn’t need.

Together, they must work in close quarters to capture a rogue band of pirates. The stakes are high. Dion’s own boat, the Treasure, is the bait. And an unwelcome yet undeniable desire is the complication.

Note from Laurie Ryan, the author...

Walking amongst the gallant sailing ships at a local Tall Ships Festival, I envisioned the romance of a sultry night on the water, nothing and no one else around. After an opportunity to sail aboard a 160 foot schooner, I knew I had to tell this story. Enjoy!
Doesn't it sound fab? Why not head right over to Bookstrand and Buy It Now?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

MTA Monday - Laurie Ryan

This week's MTA (Meet The Author) Monday author is Laurie Ryan. Let's see what she had to say about my daft questions, why don't we?

NAME: Laurie Ryan


BLOG: No permanent blog yet. For now, I guest blog. And I’d like to thank Kate Davies for having me here.

TITLE OF FIRST BOOK: Stolen Treasures

RELEASE DATE: December 8, 2009

FAVORITE WRITING STORY/SAYING/MEMORY: It may sound cliché but it has to be “the call.” I was waiting with my mother when the call came in and it wasn’t so much the call from BookStrand that indicated I had sold my first book. It was the fact that my mother was with me when I got it. She is absolutely the most amazing person I have ever known. To be able to share that with her made it a precious moment for me.

FAVORITE NON-WRITING STORY/SAYING/MEMORY: Wow. There are so many choices. Now, that’s not saying I’m old, mind you. There’s meeting my husband, marrying my husband, childbirth. The list goes on. But last year, in a little wide spot in the road called Coldfoot, halfway between Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, I got to check off a life dream. I saw the northern lights in great, green, gyrating streaks across the sky. For almost an hour, in the middle of the night, my husband and I stood with 30 or so strangers who, wrapped in coats, bathrobes, and blankets, were just as awed as we were. It was an amazing experience and one I treasure.

COMFORT FOOD: Cocoa. Always cocoa. Summer or winter. It can calm me down or rev me up, depending on what I need. It’s great for brainstorming or for reviewing the day.

COMFORT READ: Definitely Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series. I have probably read the series 10-12 times by now. It never gets old and, since I first read it in high school, it’s like revisiting an old friend.

YOUR PERFECT DAY: A lot of stars have to align for a perfect day so that, when I check my emails, all is well with my family and the world. Then I would join my husband for coffee in front of the roaring fireplace in a log home in the mountains. The windows would frame soft snowfall. Later, we’ll go for a walk (the snow’s not too deep yet) stopping to watch the elk in the meadow for a while. Once home, the aroma of homemade bread and soup heating in the crock pot would welcome us. And about that time, the kids and grandkids would descend and a beautiful chaos would finish out our day. In actuality, we live in the city, but each January, this is the exact feel of what happens when we go away to a rented cabin for a long weekend with our children and grandchildren. Absolutely perfect!

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW? More stories about modern day piracy, of course! Stolen Treasures is the story of two people who find love while attempting to capture a modern day pirate. The second book in this series is about the hunky pirate and explains why he became a brigand.
Thanks, Laurie, for dropping by! And everyone else, be sure to check back tomorrow to hear more about Stolen Treasures.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Holiday Traditions

So in a few minutes the kids and I are off to the big city to watch the Nutcracker. I think this is the fourth or fifth year we've gone, thanks to my wonderful in-laws. All the cousins will be there, excited to see the show.

Afterwards, we'll go get pictures taken with Santa (can't waste the opportunity, especially since they'll all be in nice clothes!), and have dinner before heading home.
Then, later this weekend, it's time to hunt for a Christmas tree. (The picture is of a local tree farm that provided the White House Christmas tree a few years back.)

Just a couple of events out of a busy holiday season, but we all look forward to them every year.

What's your favorite holiday tradition? Remember, every comment is entered for a chance to win Margaret Mallory's fabulous new book, Knight Of Pleasure!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

NNN Excerpt Thursday - Fight/Argument

Here's the full scene for this week's theme - check out all the teasers on our blog!


Alex sat up as the door to his private office flew open. Brynn Dexter stood in the doorway, one eyebrow arched in silent question. She was trying to look composed, but he could see the tremble in her stiff posture from across the room.

Behind her, Mrs. Agincourt answered her question. “Philippe Alexandre du Charbonneaux, Prince of Laurivenia, mademoiselle,” she said with a puzzled frown.

Belatedly, he realized that he had not informed his secretary of the deception. He was—what was the American phrase? Oh, yes. Busted.

Equal parts anger and embarrassment vied for domination of Brynn’s expressive features. “Prince, is it? Well, I suppose that’s close to principal.” Indignation laced her voice. “I apologize for not recognizing you, Your Highness.”

For a moment Alex wished that she could go back to calling him by his given name.
But that was impossible. If she was going to work for him, royal protocol must be

And in a flash of realization, Alex recognized that he did want Brynn to take the
position. Despite her youth and good looks, despite his wholly inappropriate attraction
towards her, she was the right choice for Carissa. Her experience, her personality, her
enthusiasm made her a perfect match. It would be selfish to decide against her based on
his past experiences. Those mistakes would not happen again.

Now, he just needed to convince her to stay.

She had come a few steps into the office and was standing by the chair opposite his
desk, arms crossed over her chest. “Perhaps you would care to explain why you
pretended to be the principal of the Laurivenia Academy. Was it a test? I guess I failed
Tabloid Reading 101, since I didn’t recognize you.”

“It was not a test.” He slapped a hand on his desk. “And I did not pretend to be the
principal. You made that assumption.”

“I see. So it was my fault. Is that your idea of fun? Making the stupid American look
like an idiot?”

He drew himself up. “I won’t dignify that with a response.”

“Whatever.” She fisted her hands on her hips, glaring at him. “I’d just like to know
why I’m in the office of the Prince of Laurivenia and not the Laurivenia Academy.”

The time for deception was over. He sat back in his chair, crossing his arms. “Because there is no Laurivenia Academy.”


He waved one hand in a dismissive gesture. “The academy was merely a—front, I believe it is called, for the actual position.”

Alex recognized the look on Brynn’s face. Behind the coolly polite expression, she was definitely counting to ten.

“Are you telling me I was hired to teach a fictitious class in a fictitious school?”

"I suppose you could say that.”

She shoved her fingers through her hair, pulling it back tightly from her forehead. “Oh, my God. My mother was right.”

“About what?” he asked before he could help himself.

She ignored him, pacing back and forth in front of his desk. “I quit my job. I flew
halfway around the world. I got in a limousine with a strange man. Men, if you count the
driver. And my dream job doesn’t exist?”

He focused on the last part of her tirade. “Not in that specific form, no.”

“And what, may I ask, is the actual position?”

“Private tutor for my daughter, Carissa.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Book BIN Tuesday - Knight of Pleasure

Today marks the new release of Margaret Mallory's second book, Knight of Pleasure. It sounds just as fabulous as the first one! Plus look at that cover. Yum!

Lady Isobel Hume is an expert swordswoman who knows how to choose her battles. When the king asks her to wed a French nobleman to form a political alliance, she agrees. But that's before the devilishly charming Sir Stephen Carleton captures her heart-and tempts her to betray her betrothed, her king, and her country.

Sir Stephen Carleton enjoys his many female admirers-until he dedicates himself to winning the lovely Isobel. When a threat against the king leads Isobel into mortal danger, Stephen must prove that he
is more than a knight of pleasure ... and that love can conquer all.
"... [A] riveting story, intertwining adventure and history...with a constantly increasing level of sensuality....[A] rare treat." RT Book Reviews
“Margaret Mallory's passionate novel, KNIGHT OF PLEASURE, is an absolute delight for fans of historical romance.” Fresh Fiction
“You're not just reading a novel, you are stepping into the story...KNIGHT OF PLEASURE is amazing.” Gloria Gehres, The Romance Readers Connection
“Book two of Ms. Mallory’s All the King’s Men series is thrilling, romantic, and just plain good reading.” RomRevToday
So there you go. Sounds delish, doesn't it? Why not head on over to your nearest bookstore and Buy It Now?
ETA: Margaret has generously offered an autographed copy of Knight of Pleasure for one lucky reader of my blog. All commenters are entered to win!
Discussion topic: What's the best book/movie/TV show you've enjoyed recently?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Igor! (And EKP)

Just a quick note to wish Igor Dolgatschew, one of my fave actors, a very happy birthday. For those of you not familiar with him, Igor plays Deniz on Alles Was Zaehlt, a German soap, and is an incredibly talented actor. (More about Igor in future posts - I have a new "Current TV Crush" post percolating right now...)

And a happy first anniversary to Eskimo Kiss Project, the YouTube channel devoted to Alles Was Zaehlt, and the three women behind this labor of love. If it wasn't for EKP, I would probably never have even heard of Igor, so it's pure serendipity that their YT channel launched on Igor's birthday.
Congrats to all!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NNN Excerpt Thursday - First Scene

Today's excerpt is from Challenging Carter, the final novella in my Strip series. Hope you enjoy!

"You have got to be kidding me."

Carter looked up and smiled. "And good morning to you too, sunshine."

Dani narrowed her gaze at him, jaw set. "Don’t try to sweet-talk me, you spendthrift."

Ah, so that was the issue du jour. Carter leaned back in his ergonomic chair, fingers laced behind his head. He kicked one foot onto the desktop. "Spendthrift. I can never remember—does that mean stingy?"

"You know damn well what it means." She slapped a computer printout on the desk next to his foot. "Reckless with money. Extravagant. Wasteful."

"Hey, now." Carter shifted his sports-sandal-clad foot slightly to the left. "Watch the prototype."

Her brow wrinkled in confusion for just a minute before she glanced down at the sandal and rolled her eyes. "New product?"

He nodded, lifting his foot off the desk. He tilted it to the right and back again. "For the spring line. This new closure we’ve developed is going to knock Velcro on its ass."

"If you say so." She looked dubious, which was pretty much her daily facial expression. Then she scowled again. "And don’t try to distract me."

"Ah, but it’s such a lovely sandal," he crooned, waving his foot back and forth, back and forth, in a soothing motion. "You’re getting veeeerrry sleepy…when you wake from this trance, you will no longer be concerned with the bottom line…"

Dani pinched her lips together. Carter could tell she was trying hard not to laugh.

"So tell me, oh Mistress of the Spreadsheet." He removed his foot from the desk and rolled his chair in close enough to prop his elbows on the desktop. "What evil use of money is so offending your delicate sensibilities this fine morning?"

She leaned in and pointed at the paper in front of him. "A trip to Hawaii?"

Ah. The e-mail. Carter shrugged one shoulder. "Some of the best surfing around," he explained. "It should be a good incentive, don’t you think?"

"Incentive? A weeklong, all expenses paid, luxury resort trip to Hawaii?" Her voice rose before she caught herself and lowered it again with a glance to the office door. "Do you know how much that’ll cost?"

He patted her hand and stood. "Yes, I do. I checked rates online before setting it up."

"So it’s a done deal." She crossed her arms over her chest. "Really, Carter, you should run these things by me first."

"Always better to ask forgiveness rather than permission." He rounded the desk to stand in front of her. Then he tilted his head down and batted his eyelashes at her. "Forgive me?"

With a groan, she dropped her head. "Why do I keep this job?"

"Because I’m so darn cute." He lifted her chin and tapped it with a mock-punch. "And I let you abuse me financially."

"It’s called a budget." She drew the word out like she was talking to a five year old. "Bud-get. I’m your senior financial analyst. Paying attention to the financial bottom line is what I do. Somebody has to."

"Poor, misunderstood numbers-cruncher," he said, one hand flung dramatically over his forehead like a character in a silent movie. "A lone voice crying out in the wilderness."

"Oh, stop it." A thread of laughter laced the muttered comment.

"Trapped forever in a world with people who like to spend money…"

"Okay, Mister Spend-It-All, you might as well explain the rest of the message to me."

"What, about the Wellness Challenge?" He grinned and sat on the desk, feet swinging. "It’s gonna totally shake up the culture around here."

"Yeah, that’s what I’m afraid of." She straightened the jacket of her boring-as-oatmeal suit. He’d been trying to get her to adopt the casual-Friday look the rest of the staff wore at Outdoor Sports Equipment, but so far had run into a brick wall there, too. Something about making an impression on the people outside the company that she dealt with on a regular basis.

As if OSE’s very healthy financial status didn’t manage that for her.

He tucked his hands into the deep pockets of his khaki beachcomber pants. "I had this brainstorm," he said over her groan. "We’ve got a corporate membership in the fitness center downstairs—"

She held up her hand. "Don’t remind me. I warned you it would be a ridiculous expense."

"Nothing ridiculous about it." He ticked off the benefits on his fingers. "Increased morale, reduced absenteeism, improved job performance. Offering membership as part of the benefits package is win-win."

"Except right now nobody’s using it." She tugged her suit jacket closed.

"Yeah, well, that’s what the Wellness Challenge is all about," he said. "I really want people to get the most out of the health center. I’ve got some ideas about new directions we can go, and they’re tied to health clubs. What better way to get some input from staff, encourage healthy choices, and build a more productive team?"

"You’re losing me," she warned, eyes narrowing.

"It’s a point system." He rubbed his hands together. "We’ll start with a work-up from a trainer, get a baseline for blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, body composition. That kind of thing. For the next ten weeks, you get points for using the health club, working out with a trainer, participating in group fitness classes. At the end of the ten week session, you get another work-up, and earn points for reductions in blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as for improving your muscle to fat ratio. The top point-earner gets the trip to Hawaii."

"What if someone chooses not to participate?"

"That’s their prerogative," he said mildly. "But I don’t expect many people to turn down a chance to win a trip to Hawaii."

"Having to get weighed in for a work-related activity? No, thanks."

"Oh, come on," he wheedled. "Your personal trainer is like your doctor. Your lawyer. Your priest. No one sees those numbers except the two of you. All anyone else ever knows is how many points you earned, period."

"I’m sure you’ll get a good response from the staff." She picked up the e-mail printout and tucked it in her briefcase. "Count me out, though."


She blinked at him. "Excuse me?"

"Your participation is non-negotiable."

"You just said employees could choose not to participate."

He shrugged. "You’re different."

"Oh, you have got to be kidding me." She crossed her arms over her chest. "You are a lawsuit waiting to happen, aren’t you?"

Carter snorted. "You’re as likely to sue me as you are to join in the Polar Bear swim next New Year’s."

"Hey, it could happen." She looked offended. "And the Polar Bear swim? Jump in Puget Sound on January first? You’d have to be nuts."

"It’s invigorating."

"It’s insanity," she tossed back. "But I already knew that about you."

"You know me better than anyone else here." He nudged her with his elbow. "Come on, Dani, you’ve been with me since the beginning. You’ve never backed down from supporting a new endeavor, even when you thought I was crazy. This Challenge is important to me. Important to where I see the company going in the next few years. I could really use your support."

She grimaced, but he knew he had her. That I-can’t-say-no-dammit look was just way too familiar.

"Great!" He grabbed a brochure from his desk and slapped it into the palm of her hand before she could change her mind. "All the group fitness classes are listed on the form inside the front cover. Just sign up for one of them and turn it in. You’ve already got a membership, even if you haven’t used it yet. Make sure you sign in before each class to get the attendance points. And you’ll be meeting with Heidi on Wednesday at six."


That wrinkle between her eyebrows was too damn cute. "Your trainer."

Dani let out a low groan. "Somebody kill me now."

Carter laughed. "Hey, you never know. You might end up surprising yourself and winning that trip to Hawaii."

"Damn straight," she grumbled as she headed for the door, the flyer clutched in her hand in a death-grip. "After putting up with this nonsense for the next ten weeks, a vacation in paradise will be the least I deserve."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Huzzah! And woot!

After many months of none of my Samhain books being available on Fictionwise, they are slowly starting to appear. Taking the Cake is now for sale at Fictionwise, with a 5% rebate to boot. So if you're a Fictionwise customer, and don't have TTC yet, now might be a good time to pick up a copy!

It's been a very confusing situation, with some (not all) of my titles on the site, then disappearing, then reappearing, then disappearing again. I'm hopeful that this new update means the rest of the books will be available there soon, as well. Or, at the very least, that Taking the Cake sticks around for a while.
What's your favorite e-book retailer? Do you prefer to buy from a third-party site like Fictionwise or Amazon, or do you purchase directly from the publisher?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Scavenger Hunt with the Nine Naughty Novelists!

Love Books?
Love being Naughty?

The Nine Naughty Novelists are having a Scavenger Hunt to help celebrate the launch of our new blog. If you’re up for discovering new authors, reading tantalizing excerpts and entering to win some great prizes then read on for all the details!

How to play:

Visit each of the participating authors’ websites to find the answers to their questions. There are nine authors, nine websites to visit, nine answers to find. Once you’ve found all the answers, just copy and paste the form below into your e-mail (being sure to include the answers) and send them to: with “Scavenger Hunt” in the subject line. Contest closes Midnight November 18th.

Want to know what you’re playing for?

2nd Runner Up wins an eBook.

1st Runner Up wins 2 eBooks and an autographed print book.

Grand Prize wins 2 eBooks, an autographed print book and $50 eGift Card for Victoria's Secret.



Email address:

Would you like to opt OUT of being added to our newsletter list? This information will be kept confidential.


Diane McEntire –
What is Trigg's "profession" in Midnight Reborn?


Erin Nicholas –
What is Adam's daughter's name (in No Matter What)?


Kate Davies –
What two books are in the print anthology Lessons Learned?


Kelly Jamieson -
What is Shane Dunstan's profession?

Kinsey Holley –
Which characters from Kiss and Kin will get their own story?


Meg Benjamin –
What's the name of the mythical Texas town where all of Meg's books take place?


PG Forte –
In Iron (my new release from Liquid Silver Books) what is Gavin O'Malley's profession?


Skylar Kade –
What is Lara Brunner's profession in Maison Domine?


Sydney Somers –
In Primal Hunger, how did Tristan scrape his face?


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NNN Excerpt Thursday - First Kiss

And now for something completely different!

My new group blog, Nine Naughty Novelists, has started Excerpt Thursday, where each of us posts a snippet of a scene around the same theme, with links to a longer excerpt. So every Thursday I'll be posting the full excerpt here. This week the theme is "First Kiss". My excerpt is from The Devil Inside. Enjoy!

Sam narrowed her eyes. "It’s two in the morning, Cody. I’m tired and cranky and not in the mood. So save the cheesy innuendo for a better occasion, buddy."
"Yes, ma’am." He subsided on the pillow, allowing her to check his bandages and injuries with no further commentary.
She worked quickly and efficiently, refusing to let herself think about Cody’s comments.
And she’d told him she wasn’t in the mood? Liar.
The check-up finally finished, she pulled the covers back up and reached to turn off the light.
Cody stopped her with a hand on her arm.
Startled, she looked down at him. "Did you need something?"
"Just this," he said, reached up with his uninjured arm and threaded his fingers through her sleep-tousled hair. Then, tugging gently, he urged her head down toward his.
Part of her insisted she put a stop to it, right now. He was injured, on medication, and in her care.
It would be unprofessional.
But a bigger part, the part that had been crushing on Cody since she was barely in her teens, told her professional side to shut the hell up and let her enjoy the moment. God knew if it would ever happen again.
Closer, closer, until her eyes drifted shut and she pressed her lips to his.
He whispered a kiss across her mouth with infinite delicacy, pulling back a bit before touching his lips to hers again. His mouth was an intoxicating combination of soft and firm, and she sighed against his lips. She could feel his mouth curve into a little smile.
He intensified the kiss then, his lips molding to hers, his thumb tracing the curve of her neck. Her pulse beat crazily beneath his touch, and she sat down on the edge of the bed, no longer certain her legs would hold her up.
Then he stroked his tongue into her mouth, sending a rush of heat through her that would not be denied. Surrendering to the pull of desire, she met him stroke for stroke, groaning against his mouth as their tongues tangled and their breath mingled. His hand slid lower, cupping her breast, and she gasped as he circled her nipple with his thumb. This was what she’d wanted, what she’d desired for so long…
Growling in frustration, he pulled away, his hand dropping against the comforter as he sank back into the pillows. "You’d better go." His voice was raspy, his expression fierce.
Oh, God. What had she done? With a little gasp, she stood and staggered a few steps back from the bed.
"I’ll, uh, see you in a few hours," she stammered, and backed out of the room. Even after she’d turned the corner into the hallway, she could barely restrain herself from touching her mouth.
She’d studied physiology and human sexuality. Even so, she could have sworn her lips were actually on fire.
How could such a delicate touch cause such a strong reaction?
Cody’s voice carried into the hall. "Maybe you’d better wear your robe next time."
Hell, yeah. She’d wear a snowsuit if she had to. Anything to protect her from the fire burning between them.
Because if she wasn’t careful, she was the one who was going to get burned.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Meet The Author - Erin Nicholas

Erin Nicholas



No Matter What

November 3, 2009

Wow, tough question! I would say my first sale but that’s kind-of a given right? And the second was just as exciting! I would have to say my favorite is of my first writer’s conference. It was the Emerald City Writer’s Conference. Just everything about it! I attended with one of my best friends, a fellow as of yet unpublished author. We met agents (did my first pitch—ugh!), editors (they really aren’t that scary after all!), some of my favorite writers (Susan Andersen, Julia Quinn to name just two!)… it was my first true non-internet connection with a big bunch of writers… just so cool!

I’m so blessed to have so many wonderful memories and stories, writing and non-writing! So, I’m going to go with my favorite saying:
Life is not about the breaths we take, but about the moments that take our breath away.

Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Heaven, Texas—Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Too much snow to go anywhere, everything at work handled by someone else (ie NO e-mails, texts or phone calls to me!), whole family home, all of us curled up watching a Christmas movie marathon with marshmallow popcorn and hot chocolate.

Just My Type. It’s the third book in my series that kicks off in April with Just Right (middle book is Just Like That). The series is about the Bradford siblings— Jessica, Sam and Sara—falling in love. Just My Type is Sara’s story. She’s the baby of the family and has been in love with her brother’s best friend forever—and she’s finally decided to let him know!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Come Join the Party

The Nine Naughty Novelists are going to be celebrating over on the samhaincafe loop tonight from 7-9 pm EST. Stop by and join in for a chance to win some fabulous prizes!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Book BIN Tuesday -- No Matter What

Adam Steele is good. Good at using his money to get his way. Money always works—until he realizes he can’t buy his daughter’s way out of her new wheelchair. Three private physical therapists later, he’s almost given up on Emily walking again. Then he meets Dr. Jaden Monroe. And his match.

Jaden doesn’t know the meaning of the word “quit”. But she knows a lot about “fired” after a public blowout with her ex jeopardizes the donation her hospital was counting on. Now the most tempting man she’s ever met has made her just the offer she needs to save the new children’s rehab wing—one million dollars to rehabilitate his daughter. In return she finds herself making Adam rash promises: that his daughter will walk in time to take the lead in the school play. And that he won’t entice her into his bed. No matter what.

But Jaden didn’t anticipate a teen whose injuries are more than physical. Or a man so passionate and devoted—and as tenacious as she is. As Adam wears down her defenses with kiss after kiss, the only thing harder than keeping her promise will be keeping a hold on her heart.
Sounds cool, doesn't it? Why not head over to MBaM and Buy It Now?
Erin Nicholas has been reading and writing romantic fiction since her mother gave her a romance novel in high school and she discovered happily-ever-after suddenly went a little beyond glass slippers and fairy godmothers! She lives in the Midwest with her husband who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books, her kids who will never read the sex scenes in her books, and family and friends who say they’re shocked by the sex scenes in her books (yeah, right!).
For more information about Erin and her books, visit:,

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blogging at Nine Naughty Novelists Today!

Just wanted to invite you to stop on by the Nine Naughty Novelists blog today. I'm answering our Nine Naughty Questions, so you could learn something new about me!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Presenting - Nine Naughty Novelists!

Today is the official kick-off event for Nine Naughty Novelists, a new group blog and author collective I'm participating in. We've got some great party fun lined up, including some amazing prizes, so be sure to stop by our blog to say hi! I'll be posting on Thursday, but every weekday for the next nine days you'll get to meet one of the Naughty Novelists and learn a little about us. Here's a sneak peek for you:

And here's a link to our blog. So stop by and say howdy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Congratulations - Blog Party Winners!

Hey all!

Hope you had a lovely weekend. After a birthday filled with soccer, we headed to the pumpkin patch yesterday, so it was a great time all around.

But now I'm back, and ready to announce the winner of my Birthday Blog Party contest. Thanks to everyone who posted - it made the week a lot of fun. And the winner, chosen randomly by my critique partner via IM ("Hey, pick a number between one and..."), is

Laurie Ryan!

Congrats, Laurie! You've won a gift pack with some of my favorite things - a bath product set, a candle, a gorgeous notebook, some chocolate, and whatever else I decide to toss in before sending it your way. Please contact me off-blog with your addy info.

And because I completely forgot to announce the winner of my Banned Books Week giveaway, congrats to


Jane, contact me and I'll get you a list of books for you to choose from.

Congrats again to the two winners! And everyone else, I hope you'll stop by again. There will be more prizes coming up in the near future, plus an announcement for Nine Naughty Novelists with even more opportunities to win!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Forty Facts About Kate - The Final Countdown!

Wheeee! Today is a day to celebrate. Let me count the ways (because that's all this week has been about, doncha know - counting!):

*It's my birthday!
*I'm finishing the Forty Facts today, which was WAY more complicated than I anticipated.
*It's my birthday!
*The regular soccer season is OVER TODAY!
*It's my birthday!
I'll be celebrating by watching soccer. And then going to end of season soccer parties. And I wouldn't have it any other way!

But setting all that aside, here are the final ten facts to round out the week of useless Kate information here on Kate Davies Blogs!

10. I don't drink coffee. Hot chocolate and tea, yes, but not coffee.

9. I love the smell of coffee brewing, however.

8. I have a really hard time spending money on myself. I've worked hard this year to overcome that issue. :)

7. I tend to be a night owl. Unfortunately, my personal schedule does not play nicely with things like public school opening times, work meetings, and hungry children. It's a conundrum.

6. The best advice my mother gave me, the advice I'll pass down to my children, is: "Don't forget to clean the lint trap." Seriously.

5. I have been a beta reader/critique partner to five writers since I started writing romance. All five have had at least one book published with Samhain. I'm fairly certain I had nothing to do with that fact.

4. A few years ago, I won tickets to the Rolling Stones concert through a radio call-in contest. The concert just happened to be held on my birthday. That one will probably remain hard to top for a while.

3. I was once left "home alone" while visiting relatives as a child. They all left for an event and forgot to bring me along. It took over half an hour before I noticed there was nobody else around. I was, of course, reading at the time.

2. I am really looking forward to enjoying my forties. No angsting over the change of decade - at least, not yet. ;)

1. I AM SO GLAD TO BE DONE WITH THIS THEME! *tosses confetti*

Thanks to everyone who hung in there through this random salute to my 40th birthday. Remember, every comment (or RT on Twitter) earns you another entry into my birthday giveaway drawing. So comment early, comment often, and stop by tomorrow to learn who won!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Forty Facts About Kate - Day the Third


Ten more things to tell, huh?

Okay, here we go...

20. I love buying makeup and skincare products during bonus giveaway times, even though I rarely use what I get.

19. The last musical I was in was A Chorus Line. I played the "don't dance!" girl, who gets kicked out of the audition five minutes into the show.

18. My favorite car colors were used in the late sixties/early seventies, those eye-popping shades with fabulous names. Go Mango, Panther Pink, SubLime, and my personal favorite, InViolet (aka Plum Crazy).

17. I love, love, love my iPhone. Love it.

16. I've always thought Romeo and Juliet is the worst Shakespearean play to teach to high school freshmen. Two teenagers who kill themselves because they can't date? Please. Why not A Midsummer Night's Dream? The rotating crushes in that play would fit high school perfectly.

15. I once discovered a significant error in a favorite cookbook. Unfortunately, that meant I ended up serving raw chicken cordon bleu. (The half an hour cooking time had been left off the recipe, leaving the dish with only five minutes pan-frying on each side.)

14. Here's a sneak peek at my newest venture: The Video. Bonus points if you can identify which pic is my avatar for the group!

13. I once spent hours researching why the widows in the play Riders to the Sea wore red petticoats over their heads. AND I STILL DON'T KNOW.

12. Favorite pizza - a tie between Hawaiian and BBQ chicken.

11. Twenty of my top 25 most played songs on iTunes were purchased after I discovered them on YouTube.

One day to go! See you back here Saturday with ten final facts - and the last chance to post a comment and be entered to win!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Forty Facts About Kate - Day Two

Ready for round two? Here we go!

30. I love creativity-based reality shows - Top Chef and Project Runway are two of my favorites.

29. For many years I re-read my favorite YA book, The Dark Is Rising, every winter around the solstice.

28. The author with the most books on my bookshelf is Lucy Monroe. Second? Suz Brockmann.

27. I love to collect cookbooks and cooking magazines. Despite my best intentions, I rarely actually make any recipes contained in said books and magazines.
26. I once went to a science fiction convention dressed as Krissy Kochanski. (Bonus points to the first person who can identify KK! Not you, Maia.)
25. I love tomato-based dishes (spaghetti, lasagna, chili), but other than in bruschetta, I'm not fond of uncooked tomatoes.
24. I can still recite my monologues from A Midsummer Night's Dream, a play I was in twenty years ago.
23. Although I took piano lessons for three years, the only instrument I can still play with any skill is the tambourine.
22. I love Frangos. Especially the mint chocolate kind.
21. The first time I got glasses, I couldn't find the eye chart on the wall - I couldn't even see the big E.
More tomorrow. And I'll have to start thinking about them today, because dang this is harder than I thought!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Forty Facts About Kate - The Countdown Begins

*note: these facts will be random and jumbled together, sort of like me.

40. When I was a kid, we had a cat named Muffin. Muffin liked to get, erm, amorous on the deck outside the family room before we had her fixed. Being a kid, I worried that she kept getting in "fights". My parents would respond by telling me to go practice my piano. Ever since then, whenever the topic of sex comes up, the stock response is "go practice your piano".

39. After my first book came out, Mom called to tell me she'd learned a whole bunch of new piano pieces while reading it.

38. My feet are almost always cold.

37. In college, my friends and I staged a fight in the middle of Red Square on campus. Our storyline? A couple was arguing with each other across the square, but every time one of us said something, another couple "translated" it for us. At the end, the two couples switched places. We took our bows and walked off.

36. I once sang karaoke in a Philipine restaurant in the middle of Munich. Under duress. (The person who'd taken us out to dinner insisted.) The song? Thanks to a dearth of English-language titles, I ended up butchering The Theme From Mahogany.

35. The year I started teaching at a junior high, I paid student prices for lunch for almost two months until the lunch lady realized I was a teacher. (Sadly, I wasn't even aware I was getting away with anything until it was too late.)

34. My first paid writing experience was winning first place in a "flash fiction" contest put on by the local community newspaper. I earned $75 for a story about a girl who turned into a pizza.

33. I'm left handed.

32. The first play I was ever in was Charley's Aunt, in high school.
31. My husband opened a bag of halloween candy yesterday and did not hide it from me. This was a tactical error. I have a very hard time saying no to chocolate.
More tomorrow! And remember, every comment gets you an entry into the prize giveaway!

Turning Forty - A Blog Party!

On Saturday my parents came to town to watch the kids play soccer. Afterwards, we went out to lunch and then back to the house for cupcakes and presents. See, next Saturday I turn 40, and we celebrated a week early.

Leaving aside the fact that I was absurdly thrilled to have cupcakes, the best part was opening the gifts. My mom and dad had decided that, in honor of the decade birthday, they'd give me 40 presents. (Give or take. Mom confessed she lost track there near the end.)

So I found myself surrounded by a sea of colored tissue paper, unwrapping things like lip gloss, fingernail clippers, sample-size bubble bath, a bottle of wine, chocolate, and an entire Clinique bonus pack wrapped individually. Each individual item was small (except for the last one, which was the large-size crock pot I've been dying to get for ages), but put together it was one fabulous gift. And loads of fun!

In keeping with the counting to forty theme, then, I've decided to spend the next four days sharing Forty Things About Kate as I count down to my 40th birthday. Eveyr day, I'll post ten more, with the final set coming on Saturday, my actual birthday. By now you probably know the drill -- every comment on the blog in that time frame is entered to win a prize pack of some of my favorite things.

Sound good? Great! Stop by tomorrow and check out items #40-31 on my Forty Facts list! And remember, every comment (or retweet, or post on Facebook) gets you another entry to win!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Don't Fence Me In

Or, Why Geographical Restrictions Make No Sense.

Yesterday, I tried to buy and download some songs from the German version of Amazon. These particular songs aren't available on Amazon US or iTunes US, so I hunted around and found them. (Makes sense that they're available in Germany, because they're German pop songs, right?)

So I clicked on "buy", and got an error message. "Sorry, but you can't buy these songs. The files are limited by geographical restrictions." (Or the German equivalent - I don't really trust Google Translator to give a fully accurate English version.)

But the main point was, I was out of luck. My money wasn't good there, because my computer isn't registered in Germany. Too bad, so sad, only certain people can buy those songs.

To that I say, WTF?

Geographical restrictions on digital content MAKE NO SENSE. We live in a global society, with interests and connections that go well beyond arbitrary borders. It's crazy that people who want to buy an e-book can't because sales are limited to certain countries. It's stupid to tell people "your money doesn't work here, because these pixels can only go home with a person living over here."

Those songs I wanted to buy? They were featured on a German soap opera that I watch on YouTube after English subtitles have been added by a team of three fans who live in three different countries. The commenters are from all over the world. There's really no such thing as a geographical restriction when it comes to people's interests. So why should there be one when it comes to supporting the artists who stoke those interests?

What's worse is, preventing people from buying content legally makes illegal filesharing more prevalent. Now, as someone who makes a living off copyright, I refuse break it just to get those songs I wanted. But that doesn't mean I wasn't tempted. As it stands, I don't have the song, the artist doesn't have the royalties, and everybody loses.

So please, Powers That Be, get rid of those geographical restrictions on digital content. Let the fans support the artists, and the artists get their due. It's time for the rules to catch up to the new, interconnected world. And I really want those songs!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Book BIN Tuesday -- Virtually Hers

Woo-hoo! Save the series!

Kudos to Samhain for publishing Gennita Low's new book, Virtually Hers, which comes out today. It's a follow-up book to Virtually His, published by the Mira imprint of Harlequin. Sadly, Gennita's contract for VHers was dropped for whatever reason, leaving the full story untold. So glad that Samhain stepped in and gave it a home!

Here's the skinny:

He can’t get her out of his head…literally.

Virtually, Book 2

In Helen “Hell” Roston’s elite black ops world, failure isn’t listed as an option in the rule book. As the leading guinea pig in a dangerous combination of virtual reality training and a mind-altering serum, though, every day offers a thousand ways to blow it. And the very real sexual chemistry that sizzles between Hell and her trainer is messing with her head even more.

COS Commando Jed McNeil is an expert in mind manipulation games. He’s been chosen to be Hell’s monitor and anchor in the Super Soldier Spy program. Trained to compartmentalize his needs and feelings in an assignment, he’s unprepared by how much Hell affects him.

When the experimental serum gives Helen incapacitating headaches, her pain throws Jed into protect-at-all-costs mode. A position the fiercely independent Hell would rather die than be in. But with a rogue CIA faction out to sabotage the program, Hell has no choice—even if it makes her head explode. It’s trust Jed, or die.

Product Warnings

Contains scenes of voyeuristic hanky panky, bad guys that feed off mind-blowing sexual energy, a heroine who knows how to get her kick-ass on, and a hero who gives as good as he gets.


So head on over to My Bookstore and More and pick up a copy because the first book rocked, because Gennita tells a hell of a story, and because we should support publishers who help authors finish what they started. :) It's Tuesday. Go Buy It Now!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's Banned Books Week!

Again, you say? Didn't we talk about this just last year?

Sadly, yes. Books are still being banned, so the ALA Banned Books Week continues. This year, it's occurring from September 26 to October 3.

The American Library Association recorded 513 challenged is 2008, but that total is estimated to be only 20-25% of the actual number of banned or challenged books. These books include the Harry Potter series, Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams (a personal favorite), Lois Lowry's award-winning The Giver, and classics such as Slaughterhouse Five, Of Mice and Men, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and To Kill A Mockingbird.

My goal this week is to identify and read a challenged book that I haven't read before. How about you? Will you join me in this challenge?

Post your selection in the comments section, and one commenter will win a prize at the end of the week!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Book BIN Tuesday - Iron by PG Forte

I'm a sucker for all things historical/paranormal, so this new release by PG Forte looks like a perfect fit for me:
Nineteenth century Ireland. Blacksmith Gavin O’Malley is a bitter man, with a heart as hard as the iron he forges. He wants his life back—the one that was stolen from him the day his wife died in childbirth—taking their firstborn son with her.
When Aislinn Deirbhile, an immortal, shape-shifting fae, arrives on his doorstep, he knows he’s in luck. For Aislinn can give Gavin everything he’s been missing: A devoted-seeming wife in the image of his beloved Mairead, and children who are sure to outlive their father. Now, all he has to do is find a way to keep her—without losing his immortal soul in the process.

But Aislinn has an agenda of her own. On the run from a vengeful fae lord who’s vowed to either make her his or end her existence, she knows the iron that allows Gavin to take her captive will also keep her pursuers at bay. In order to put herself permanently beyond her enemy’s reach, however, Aislinn will need something more. She’ll need to win Gavin’s heart and convince him to willingly part with a piece of the very soul he’s trying to save.
Ireland? Fae? Historical? Sign me up! If this is your sort of thing, follow me over to Liquid Silver Books and Buy It Now!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Big E-Book Bash At Writeminded!

Whether you love e-books or are just curious about them, the place to be this week is the Writeminded blog. They have over 100 e-books to give away, and my book The Devil Inside is one of them! (I just checked, and it hasn't been posted yet, so it's still up for grabs.)

The contests are posted at random times, so the more often you stop by the blog, the better your odds of winning. Good luck, and happy reading!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Book BIN Wednesday -- Client Privileges

I've been almost as excited as Maia about the release of her newest book, Client Privileges. As someone who was lucky enough to be a beta-reader for this m/m fantasy romance, I'm thrilled it's found a home at Torquere Books. It's a fascinating, multi-layered, amazing story that I loved, and I'm so glad I get to feature it for Book BIN this week.

Here are the deets:

Jonas Vaneau's life seems ordinary, with days working at law courts and evenings at home with his cat, plus countless Sabbath dinners with his parents and an endless string of potential brides. Meanwhile, an unusual encounter with seemingly ordinary brothel client Jonas causes Micah Hartshorn considerable consternation. When Jonas inexplicably bursts past his emotional defenses, Micah can't even fall back on his professional skills to help him.

The attraction between Micah and Jonas grows, despite their misgivings. As they grow closer, all personal problems are swept up in political unrest when new laws threaten both men's livelihoods. When even greater troubles send Jonas' world spinning beyond his control, it's up to Micah to save Jonas from the downward spiral if he can.


I loved both Jonas and Micah, and the external plot is excellent as well. Plus, that cover is just gorgeous. I can recommend this book without hesitation. So why not pop on over to Torquere and Buy It Now?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Winners, Weekend Plans, and Recommended Links

The problem with planning big blog parties the week before school starts is...uhm...not actually following through because I'VE GOT SO MUCH TO DO, YEESH.

So, apologies for not posting the winners before now. And congratulations to:
who won a free copy of Lessons In Trust,

who won a $10 gift certificate to Torquere Press.

Deidre and Karin, please e-mail me with your contact info so I can get you your prizes.

Thanks to everyone who commented during the giveaways. And be sure to keep posting, because there will be more parties -- and prizes - to come in the following weeks.

And speaking of parties, be sure to drop by Maia Strong's blog, where she's counting down the days to her newest release, Client Privileges, from Torquere Press.

As for me, I'll be off enjoying the scenery at the rodeo. (Gotta love them Wranglers!) Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Interview: Eskimo Kiss Project

Today, the lovely ladies of Eskimo Kiss Project have graciously agreed to be interviewed for my blog. Thanks for joining us, EKP!

(Who's EKP, you ask? Just about the best You Tube channel out there. Since starting to post clips from Alles Was Zahlt back in November of 08, they've managed to upload over three hundred videos, all edited, subtitled, and hilariously described by Lilith, Aldi and Shelly. I stumbled on their videos a few months back, and have thoroughly enjoyed their work -- and truly enjoyed getting to know them better through this interview.)

1. Which came first – the friendship, or the show? Did you three know each other before you discovered AWZ, or did you connect because you loved the show? And how did you first become aware of the Roman/Deniz storyline on AWZ?

The two kind of nurtured and fed off each other. Like some really scary obsessy time-chomping plant, only, uhm, nicer. We discovered the storyline via similar endeavours on YouTube, like the Christian/Oliver pairing on Verbotene Liebe. In fact, it was a persistent VL friend who first foisted “this other gay German soap couple” on us. Other channels had been generous enough to post the Deniz/Roman storyline, but we discovered that the show’s infamous theme song was right and we “can’t ever get enough” – we wanted more of the storylines and characters surrounding Deniz and Roman. This couple doesn't exist in a vacuum, and we found the community and its reactions to them equally intriguing and endearing. And so we delved headfirst into our active obsession with EKP and haven’t stopped since. (We suspect that if we ever do, we’ll need a patch!) But to get back to your original question, yes, we first connected through our love for the show but quickly became really close friends. We’re lucky enough to be pretty much all on the same wavelength of crazy, which is really a necessity when you spend so much time in each other’s (virtual) hair.
2. Where did you get the name "eskimokissproject"? Are there any other shorthand names/titles/phrases that people might like to know before delving into the world of Roman/Deniz fandom?

The name comes from a brief but legendary moment in the landmark episode 299, where the boys share an affectionate noserub while giggling on the ice. It’s small moments like this that endeared this show to us so much – as ever, the devil’s in the details, and details like that (natural, spontaneous, and lovely) made the characters really come alive. As for other phrases and names, oh, they are legion, from [Angry Turkish], which we insert when Deniz's dad rants, to "Asshole=I love you" referring to Roman's tendency to tell Deniz what an infuriating yet irresistible tool he is. And we’re still quite fond of our original tagline, “My parents had to flee to Asia!” That was on the screenshot of our first ever video and has since become both a synonym for “hare-brained yet hilarious plot we must cover” and an acceptable response in all sorts of social situations. You’d be amazed how many scenarios it fits.

3. If I remember correctly, you don't live in close proximity. Where do you hail from, and how does that work when putting together the clips for YouTube?

The EKP Brain was born of the frozen tundra. Split into three parts by an evil Steinkampian plot, the Brainthirds were cast adrift, settling in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. In terms of doing the clips, it’s really no problem, since none of us actually pay any attention to such silliness as normal hours, night/day distinctions, the time/space continuum, etc. Technology is a beautiful thing. So is mind-melding.

4. Describe your work on a typical episode. How do you put it together?

AWZ airs at 7:05pm in Germany, which is 1:05pm for Lil and Shelly and crazy pre-dawn silly time for Aldi. So work begins with buckets of coffee and an AIM chatroom, where we watch the episode on the RTL site, flailing/grumbling/yawning as appropriate and figuring out how much of the episode we want to cover. Aldi (the only one of us who actually knows German) works up clipping cues, Lil edits the episode, then Aldi translates/subtitles the edited clip, and Shelly puts it all together and forcefeeds it to YouTube (which may or may not cooperate). Somewhere among all that, we scramble to piece together a description (early drafts often run along the lines of “OMG WHAT” and “SQUEEEEEEE” and “WTF Show!”).
5. How do you manage to get the clips posted so quickly? I'm very impressed.
Thank you! It's all due to magic and coffee, with a healthy dose of obsession. Fortunately we all work out of our homes so we can be, uhm, creative with our time.

6. Recently, a hotly-anticipated episode was clicked on so much in the first few minutes after you posted, it managed to break the internets for a little while. Were you surprised at its popularity?

Very! First we thought it was a technical glitch, then we found out we were being overrun and descended into fits of incredulous hilarity. For the record, that particular episode was well worth the fuss. ;) [Note from Kate: I totally agree!]

7. Did you ever expect your work to get such a rabid following on YouTube?

We really didn't. This started just for us – a fun project among friends that we figured others might enjoy, too. We’ve been doing this for less than a year and were surprised to get 1000 subscribers so quickly. Now that we're pushing 2000, we're beside ourselves! Soon we’ll need to put out ads for -slaves- staff or something.

8. What's the best part of working on eskimokissproject? What's toughest?

Best? Sharing the awesome flailing moments, both with each other and then again once we post. Worst? Either waiting by our empty mailboxes for the paycheques from RTL that never come or inexplicable cravings for fries at odd hours of the night.

9. Did you have a hard time keeping the faith during the dark years?

Shared pain is better. We found hidden gems like Killer Virus (episodes 439-443), which turned out to be puzzlingly fabulous despite the cracky premise. And really, the darkness is part of what we love. Besides, there were always past days of glorious storylines to revisit, and now there’s even current awesomesauce going on. Having waited and suffered and moaned through the “dark years” and stubbornly clung to hope where there was none, we feel we’ve got a better appreciation for the good stuff. Or hey, perhaps we’ve just gone mental and made it all up!

10. One of my favorite parts of your eskimokissproject channel is the descriptions you write for each episode. I've found myself cutting-and-pasting paragraphs to friends who don't even follow DeRo, just because they're so hilariously well-written. What other writing do you do? Where can readers find it?

We're all fanfic writers, and dabble in original projects, too, although by necessity that gets backburnered when EKP is really busy. When we first got into this show, we produced a bunch of English-language DeRo fanfic, which can be found at but, erm… mind the ratings. None of these are exactly fluffy or innocent. ;)

11. Is there anything I didn't ask that you wish I had? Anything you'd like to add to this interview?

There’s an endless amount of joy in sharing this lovely, insane and occasionally infuriating creation with our equally lovely and insane viewers, but the fact is that there would be nothing to share if it wasn’t for a team of brilliant creative brains halfway across the world who work on making this show every day. So a big thanks to the creators, writers, directors and actors of AWZ, who we curse and slag off daily and with gusto but whom we also adore. Keep up the awesome! (And give us a zombie plot!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kate's Current TV Crush -- European Soap Operas

Hi, my name is Kate, and I'm a YouTube addict.

(Hi, Kate!)

A couple weeks ago, I found myself watching a just-uploaded video of that day's episode of Alles Was Zaehlt. In the original German. Because I couldn't wait the extra hour for the English-subtitled version to show up.

Why? Because Roman and Deniz's relationship was supposed to start heating up again. And I had to see what happened.

One of the things about YouTube that is both a joy and a curse is the sidebar with related videos. It's so easy to get sucked into a vortex of more and more videos, until you look up and it's two in the morning and where in the world did all that time go?

So yeah, I'm hooked on European soap operas, or more specifically, m/m storylines on European soaps. I can't even remember how I first discovered this subgenre – probably by clicking on a related video after watching a Jack/Ianto clip – but the first one I glommed on to was the John-Paul/Craig storyline on Hollyoaks, a UK soap. (Bonus: very few subtitles needed!) From there, I progressed to Christian and Oliver on Verbotene Liebe, a German soap, and then Roman and Deniz on AWZ.

(There are others – in France, Spain, even Israel – but I do have to draw the line somewhere.)

Why do I like m/m storylines on European soap operas?

* The drama. In many cases, one of the partners has never been "out" or had another same-sex partner before. The struggle to accept who he is, to admit his attraction to another man, and to come clean to friends and family is inherently conflict-laden and emotional. I'm a big fan of angst, and all of these stories are chock-full of it.
* The acting. I've been very impressed with the quality of the acting by the actors on these soaps. They transcend the often-overwrought stories to bring a level of honesty to the characters that makes me really care about them.
* The production values. On the soaps I've watched on YouTube, they take a lot more risks with the camera angles, the handheld techniques, even the intro and exit of each scene.
* The music! I've discovered a ton of great music (in English and German), from Does It Offend You, Yeah?, to Revolverheld, to Razorlight, to Placebo. I don't know if it's the lower cost for rights in a smaller market or what, but the addition of some fabulous tunes does make a difference.
* The sexiness. Okay, call me shallow, but watching hot guys walk around in towels is fun.
* Less prudishness. This ties in with the previous point, but it's significant. When there is an m/m relationship on a European soap, they're in a relationship. There's kissing and touching and lounging in bed together, just like any other couple. By contrast, after Noah and Luke kissed for the first (and second) time on As The World Turns over the course of a week or so, they didn't kiss again for almost a year – long enough for people to post countdown clocks on websites and start a write-in campaign. Not very realistic for two guys who were supposed to be in a long-term, loving relationship during that time period.
* The YouTube channels dedicated to the soaps. The community of watchers really is a community, chatting about the characters and the storylines and the clips. It's great fun. My personal favorite is Eskimo Kiss Project, the premiere Roman/Deniz channel. The three women who record, translate, subtitle and post the clips are talented, dedicated, and damn funny. Sometimes their descriptions are even better than the episodes! (And being able to watch without commercials and unrelated storylines is a bonus, too.)

Tune in tomorrow for an interview with the creative minds behind Eskimo Kiss Project!

So there you have it – my confession. I'm hooked on European soaps, but I'm not looking for a cure just yet. How about you? What's your YouTube obsession?

(Oh, and that AWZ episode? EVEN BETTER IN ENGLISH.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Book BIN Tuesday -- You Tell ME! (M/M Edition)

Regular readers of my blog will recognize Book BIN Tuesday, a semi-regular post that highlights a new release or classic romance that I'm excited to read (or have read and loved). Today, though, I'm doing things a little differently.

I'm in the market for some new m/m romances and authors. I'm a huge fan of Maia Strong, who has a new book coming out September 9 (and that cover is just fabulous, isn't it?). I also just read and loved Hot Weather by Matthew Haldeman-Time. But I'm interested in your recommendations. Who do you read for m/m romance? Is there a specific title you really liked? What should I read next?

Remember, in honor of Theme Week, all comments will be entered in a drawing for a prize at the end of the week. So give me your recommendations!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A New Blog Thing: Theme Week!

Well, now that the freebie offer has come to an end, I wanted to try something new and different here on Kate Davies Blogs! So here it is, the inaugural edition of THEME WEEK.

What's that, you say? Theme Week?

Just for fun, all the posts during Theme Week will connect, in some way, to the chosen theme. They won't happen all the time (I'm not focused enough to come up with a new theme every week), but when the mood hits, I'll share.

This week's theme, I blame on Maia.

See, up until a year or two ago I read almost exclusively hetero romance. Then my buddy Maia decided to start submitting her work, and I offered to beta-read her stuff before she sent it out. And Maia writes m/m romance.

Wow! A whole new genre of romance to explore. And I'm not the only one. M/m romance has been growing in popularity recently, both in books and on TV shows and movies. So in honor of this first Theme Week, here's the schedule for the next several days:

Tomorrow, we'll be doing Book BIN Tuesday a little differently. I'm looking for suggestions for good m/m romance, both authors and individual books. So it's your chance to tell me what to Buy Now!

Wednesday, I confess all in Kate's Current TV Crush.

Then, on Thursday, I'll be sharing an interview with the creative minds behind eskimokissproject. You won't want to miss this one!

I hope to see y'all on the blog this week. And as an added bonus, all comments this week will be put in a drawing for a prize! (Possibly, but not necessarily, m/m romance related. I've got to mix things up a little, you know!)

Prize winners -- for this week, and for last week's Lessons In Trust drawing -- will be posted next weekend. So comment early, comment often!
(And stay tuned for next week's theme -- Young Adult fiction!)