Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Book BIN Wednesday -- The Ballad of Jimothy Redwing

Sigh. I really did mean to post this yesterday, on the actual release day. But it has become the house of plague here lately, so I'm a bit behind.

That aside, I really am excited about the print release of The Ballad of Jimothy Redwing, by Maia Strong. It's a great book, full of wonderful characters and a cracking good story, and I highly recommend it. Here's the blurb:

New lover. New city. New dangers.

Wand’ring Minstrel Jimothy Redwing is used to life on the road, living by the words and music that are his stock in trade. While he’s comfortable finding his way alone, he’s always amenable to a friendly stranger who knows the lay of the land. Ricky Lennox is smart, funny, handsome, and very amenable.
With a place to stay, a sexy new lover, and some local contacts, Jimothy looks forward to delivering the letters in his care—including a message for the local ruler—and earning a little money with his music before moving on.
Ricky’s declaration he’s interested in more than just a one-night tryst starts Jimothy thinking about settling into a life of perfect harmony. But things hit a sour note when he learns his lover’s true identity—and exactly what’s in the epistle to Kanbec’s ruler.
Jimothy’s journey turns out to be far more complicated than he could have dreamed, and as dangerous as any epic ballad. For himself—and for Ricky.
Warning: This book contains a sexy musician, hot nekkid manlove, violence, and nuns dressed in blue.
So head on out and Buy It Now!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday Random Links --- Contest Edition!

Happy Monday! Hope everyone's having a great day.

Since it *is* a Monday, I thought I'd try to sweeten things up with a couple of links to contests that are going on today. First, my book HOOKED is one of the featured prizes in The Romance Studio's Book-A-Day Giveaway. Hop on over to their contest page for a chance to win!

And in celebration of her first print release, Maia Strong is holding a blog party and contest. You can read all about it on her blog or over at Lucy Monroe's place. Be sure to take a peek at the info on her upcoming release, Client Privileges. It's a scorcher!

So there you have it -- the extent of my contest knowledge on this gray Monday morning (at least in my neck of the woods). Anyone have other contests to share? Post them in the comments!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Kate's Current TV Crush

If you're following me on Twitter you already know about my newest TV crush. If not, let me introduce you to:

Captain Jack Harkness

Excuse me for a moment while I swoon...


Okay. Better now.

I first discovered Captain Jack via Twitter, a month or so ago. Someone had posted that the scene between John Barrowman's Captain Jack and James Marsters' Captain John was fabulous. Curious, I searched for it on YouTube and thought, I have to see this show.

Now, confession time. I've never seen Doctor Who (sorry, Angie! It's in my Netflix queue, I promise!). My last experience with British sci-fi was Red Dwarf, back in college. (Which I also loved, but that's a story for another day.) So when I got a copy of season one of Torchwood and sat down to watch it, I had no background on the character, the setting, or the history of the show. (Captain Jack was originally a character on Doctor Who, and is now the lead character in the spinoff Torchwood.) Some of the in-jokes and reference fly right over my head.

I don't care. I love it anyway.

I love the stories, I love the characters, I love the fact that sexual orientation is a non-issue (characters fall for who they fall for, without lots of commentary and freaking out), I love the cheesy special effects (and, let's face it, BBC sci fi does have its share of cheesy special effects), and most of all, I love Captain Jack.

Know who else I adore? John Barrowman, the actor who portrays Captain Jack. He's amazingly talented, having gotten his start in musical theater before moving to television. He can sing, dance, act, and is a hilarious interviewee. Sadly, I can't embed this video, but here's the link to his newest single, What About Us. He's also openly gay, and in a long-term committed relationship with his partner, an architect.

So there you have it. My new TV crush, Captain Jack Harkness (and, by extension, John Barrowman). If you like sci fi, British TV, and cute guys kissing, you might want to check out Torchwood. Enjoy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Book BIN Tuesday -- Beyond Heaving Bosoms

I spent Saturday at the Rose City Romane Reader's Luncheon in Portland, OR. It was a fabulous time, with a great keynote speaker (Lucy Monroe), wonderful food, loads of prizes and giveaways, and about 200 romance readers and writers in one room, celebrating our fave genre.

But what turned me into a squeeing fangirl? Candy Tan was there.

Candy Tan, co-author of Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches Guide to Romance.

I've been anxiously awaiting this book since she and her co-author, Sarah Wendell, started posting tiny snippets of the cover on their blog, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. Which is to say, many months. But by Saturday, I still hadn't managed to get my hands on a copy.

So I wandered by the bookseller's sales table -- before the event even officially started, when the only people in the room were the chapter members running the show and the participating authors -- and noticed that there were only four copies of BHB on the table. Four! For a room full of romance authors!

I snatched up a copy and squirrelled it away in my tote bag. And when the signing started, I headed over to Candy's spot and got her autograph. (Which, by the way? Best. Signature. Ever. Where else would I get a signature referring to throbbing swords and weeping grottoes? WIN.)

Anywho, the only reason I didn't dive right in on the way home is because the state patrol frowns on reading while driving. I'm reading it now, though, and good LORD is it funny. As in LOL funny. Scare the kids I'm laughing so hard funny.

And it's smart and irreverent and thoughtful and provoking and...a whole bunch of other things I haven't even discovered yet.

Buy it. Read it. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My New Fave YouTube Vid...

I'm sure you've probably seen this clip from Britain's Got Talent, since over 5 mil views were on the various videos by the time I was pointed in this direction, but just in case, you really should head on over to You Tube and check out Susan Boyle....

Love the song. Love the version. Love the reminder that you really can't judge a book by its cover.


Sunday, April 12, 2009


By now you may have heard about the kerfuffle over Amazon's de-ranking of books it tagged as "adult" or inappropriate. If not, here's the shorthand version:

Last week, authors started noticing that books were losing their Amazon "rank", which in and of itself isn't the end of the world. But it had serious implications for these books. See, Amazon "filters" books based on their rankings, so that if you look for one book, they can recommend others that are similar. This also determines placement on bestseller lists, which can be extremely helpful for sales to casual shoppers. (If you've ever browsed the "contemporary romance" list, you know what I mean.)

But all those books that lost their rankings? Off the lists, off the recommends, off the radar. And what's worse, is the majority of those books are either erotic romance or GLBT.

So an autobiography by a porn star? Still ranked. Biography of Ellen DeGeneres? De-ranked. Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds? Ranked. Heather Has Two Mommies? De-ranked.

Anyway, I was skimming Amazon to see how widespread the problem was, and happened to take a peek at one of my titles, Tease Me, Please Me.

I've been de-ranked.

Are you kidding me? On what are they basing this decision? TMPM doesn't even rate as a Red-Hot, as far as Samhain is concerned. But because Amazon thinks my book is too "adult", it's been effectively moved behind the counter, where you can only get your hands on it if you know what to look for.

Sigh. And the week was looking pretty good, up until now.