Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bonus Book BIN Wednesday - I Put A Spell On You

There's a great new anthology out from Torquere today you may want to check out. Here's the deets:

I Put A Spell On You

stories by CC Bridges, Penelop Friday, Kiernan Kelly, Shea Meier, JL Merrow, Giselle Renarde, Kathryn Scannell, Maia Strong, and BA Tortuga

Spells are willful little things. Once uttered, they can take on a life of their own, and that's usually when the trouble begins…

The spell that love casts is transformational. These nine m/m/f ménage stories are about the bonds that go beyond words, and to places no one expects.

In "Bad Hoodoo," BA Tortuga demonstrates the perils of playing diva in voodoo country. "Play Music, Play Magic" by Maia Strong relates the gentler side of a witch's power as she celebrates her homecoming. Sometimes, though, a witch is not enough--in "The Antithesis of Magic," JL Merrow shows how all the pieces must come together for magic to truly bind. Nor is a witch's magic always benevolent, as the lovers find out in "Ironheart," by Shea Meier. And in CC Bridges' "The Shore House," there is no witch at all--only her wisdom to guide a novice hand.

Some lovers, too, are inherently magical. Sylphs and undines are simply themselves in Penelope Friday's "The Birth of the Year," while Titania's crew raises their usual mayhem in Giselle Renarde's "Midsummer Morning Woods." In "The Winter King," by Kathryn Scannell, ancient gods manifest for their worshippers. Finally, in "Sleeping With Monsters," Kiernan Kelly looks at the spell itself to find the magic there.

I've read Play Music, Play Magic and it's great! Maia is also holding a contest on her blog today, so stop by and comment for your chance to win. And if you're looking for a great read, run on over to Torquere and Buy It Now!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Book BIN Tuesday - Once Bitten, Twice Dead

I've loved Bianca D'Arc's books at Samhain, so you can guess how excited I am to feature her first Brava, Once Bitten, Twice Dead. Here's the scoop:

Thrills, chills, and a smoldering sexy hero combine to unforgettable effect in Bianca D'Arc's irresistible new novel of paranormal romance...

When police officer Sarah Petit investigates a disturbance in an abandoned building, she expects to find a few underage drinkers. Instead, she's attacked by creatures straight out of a horror movie. Waking a week later in a hospital, Sarah is visited by Special Forces soldier Captain Xavier Beauvoir. The zombies who attacked Sarah are the result of military research gone terrifyingly wrong, and Sarah's immunity to the virus makes her the perfect person to help Xavier eradicate them. But his smooth Cajun accent, whiskey-colored eyes, and dizzying kiss are risky to her in a very different way.

Sarah attracts danger like a magnet -- and the smart, fearless cop attracts Xavier too, instilling a bone-deep need that's undermining his steady façade. Enlisting her aid is a necessary gamble, but vicious undead creatures are not the only enemy they face. And the only way to keep each other safe is to trust in an instant connection that could be their greatest strength--or the perfect way to destroy them both...

Sounds great, doesn't it? And as a bonus, Bianca is giving away a prize pack of SWAG and romance books. (For details on the prize, check out her blog contest page.) All you have to do to enter is send an email with OBTD Blog Contest in the subject line to BIANCADARC at gmail dot com, with your mailing address, before March 31st, 2010. The drawing will be held April 1st and the winner will be announced on her blog at

So I'm picking up a copy today. Why not join me and Buy It Now?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Love-Hate Relationship With The Olympics

I was so looking forward to the Olympics this year.

I love the winter games, love the thrilling, beautiful, and sometimes obscurely puzzling events. I love the backdrop of snow and ice, the joy on an athlete's face when he or she accomplishes the impossible. And the fact that it was occurring just a few hours up the road in a part of Canada that I adore was even more of an incentive to watch.

Then the opening ceremonies started.

I had noted the start time and was waiting anxiously for the show to begin. I checked twitter and was puzzled to see live-tweeting of the ceremonies when they weren't scheduled to begin until three hours in the future.

I turned on the TV, sure I'd misread the start time. No, it was still scheduled for later in the evening.

Then the lightbulb moment. It was scheduled for prime time. NBC was tape-delaying the opening ceremonies.

I grumbled a bit, but figured if they wanted to squeeze the maximum advertising dollars out of the opening ceremonies, there wasn't much I could do about it. At least it was only the opening ceremonies, right?

Wrong. By the next day I'd realized that NBC had decided to tape-delay the Winter Games completely. So here I was, living IN THE SAME TIME ZONE as the actual games, and unable to watch until NBC decided it was the right time for me to watch. The "people want to watch when they're at home, so we're postponing until later" didn't fly for me either, because it was the middle of a three day weekend.

Even worse, delays from earlier in the day ended up being built in to the coverage. Was ice skating postponed because of problems with the ice? Well, if people on the East Coast had to live with delays that pushed the finals past midnight, so did we -regardless of how much time NBC had to trim the delays and show the actual event at the scheduled air time.

And not only are the delays teeth-grindingly annoying, I pretty much know the results of every major event before it airs here, thanks to Twitter and Internet news sites. Even NBC is posting spoilers on their Twitter feed, thus adding insult to injury. So why bother staying up late to watch the speed skating when I know who won, who lost, and who wiped out?

I can't even watch on my favorite Canadian station anymore, because they don't have the coverage rights this year. So my go-to option for alternative coverage was out as well.

So even though I love the Winter Olympics, the shortsighted and nonsensical decision to force people in the same time zone as the actual games to wait hours to watch has pretty much sucked all the enjoyment out of the Olympics for me this year. Sigh. I hope that in future years NBC will take into account the changing world of instant information and realize that time-delaying sporting events is counterproductive at best.

Okay, rant over. I'm going to go watch some speed skating now, and pretend I don't know who won. It's more fun that way.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Book BIN Tuesday - Animal Attraction

With a string of vandalism plaguing the zoo, Marine Mammal Manager, Stephanie Cavanah, has her hands full. Up for a promotion, Stephanie is disappointed when the job goes to David Westcott, a sexy, smart Conservation Biologist who has mysterious black outs. But there is little time to brood because the vandalism is growing worse, and Stephanie must work with David if she is going to stop the perpetrators.
Having been coerced into taking a job he doesn't want and isn't comfortable with, David tangles with his own demons. At puberty he'd gained the power to command the behavior of people and animals with his thoughts. The problem is, he can't turn it off! As a result, David is never sure if people’s thoughts and actions are truly their own.
Having discovered a way to control his influence, David works to control his power.
Unfortunately every time Stephanie is near, his mind sputters to a halt.
Sounds intriguing, no? So why not head on over to Red Rose Publishing and Buy It Now?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Meet The Author Monday - Wanda DeGolier

NAME: Wanda DeGolier


TITLE OF FIRST BOOK: Animal Attraction
Mainstream Romantic Mystery

RELEASE DATE: February 11, 2010

This is goofy. I’d done the incredibly geeky thing of changing the keyboard layout on my keyboard to Dvorak. This means all the letters were in different places allowing me (supposedly) to make fewer errors and type faster (once I’d mastered it).

Right afterward, as I was typing along at a blazing 10-words-a-minute while writing a tense scene where my heroine was in peril. For me, I feel the tension, worry and fear of my characters. So, here she is stuck and needing help, and I can’t save her because my fingers can’t get the words out fast enough.

Wow! That’s hard. Falling in love is exceptionally fun. So is watching my children grow, but I’m being cheesy. You want something interesting. Hmm…

There was the serenading Klingons episode, seeing a field of sunflowers in Iowa, a sloth in a tree in Costa Rica and a Hawaiian sunset. I was the mascot for a professional sports team for a short while.

But, for me none of that is as good as a good old-fashioned smile from the people I love.

Potato chips and Milky Way candy bars.

I read a lot and don’t tend toward re-reading. I probably read 10 books a month and find most of them comforting. I like Pulitzer-prize winners as well as light-hearted reads like Janet Evanovich or more heady work like Anita Shreve. I read erotica too. Stick most anything in front of my face and I’ll be happy.

I awaken just as my two children, clothed and groomed and ready for school, enter my bedroom with breakfast on a golden tray. While eating my eggs, my husband calls to let me know we’ve won the lottery.

I still take the kids to public school (because I want them to have a rounded education.) After dropping them off, I head home where I hunker down and enter the odd world where my stories live.

I dwell there for hours, writing and rewriting and struggling (struggling is part of the fun). I stop only to renew my supply of candy and chips. (In my prefect world I never gain weight or get cavities.) When it’s time to pick the kids up from school, I have exceeded my goals for the day! Yay! Upon seeing them, I learn they have both earned Super Student awards.

After dinner, my hubby offers to put the kids to bed and tells me to go to a Zumba class. (Zumba is so much fun.) After Zumba, I get a glass of cheap red wine, (Oh yeah, I forgot I’m rich.) I get a glass of expensive champagne then settle down with a book in the bathtub. Ahhhh…..perfect end to a perfect day.

I’ve been working for a few years on an historical trilogy set in the North West around the year 1900. The backdrop is the theater and silent film. My heroines have the added layer of being suffragists.

Because of the massive amounts of research, it’s been a long work in process. The draft of the first book is complete and it’s titled Defiance.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'll Take Romance...

In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share my five favorite things about the romance genre. Hope you enjoy!

5. Romance novels are hopeful. In a world swimming in cynicism, it's nice to lose myself in a dose of hope for a while.

4. They aren't all the same. Despite their reputation, there are as many different romance novels as there are happy couples in the world. Though the outcome is often similar, the journey is always as individual as the people (or characters) involved.

3. The characters! I love getting to know people like Sam Starrett, P.J Morgan, Tess Gannon, Ethan Crane, and the Bridgertons through the pages of a book. (Bonus points if you can identify the authors or books these characters are from.)

2. The settings. I can travel all over the world - and beyond - when I read a romance.

1. The stories. Whether it's contemporary, historical, paranormal, m/m, suspense, futuristic - there is a world of genres tucked inside the Romance label.

What's your favorite thing about romance? Let me know in the comments, and I'll choose one poster to win a Valentine's gift!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nine Naughty Novelists Doing Good

Just a quick note to encourage you to drop by the Nine Naughty Novelists Blog this week and comment on our Mardi Gras post. Every comment increases our donation to the Red Cross Haiti relief fund by a dollar. So tell us what you think, and do a good deed at the same time!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Kate's New TV Crush - Dennis Grabosch and Igor Dolgatschew

I tried to choose just one TV crush for this post. Really, I did. But in the end, I couldn’t pick one of these two over the other. It was impossible, for several reasons.

1. The pairing. Dennis and Igor play Roman and Deniz (yes, yes, confusing at first, but you get over it quickly) on the German soap opera Alles Was Zӓhlt. Back in 2007, the characters became a couple, in what was widely considered one of the best pairings (and best coming-out storylines) around. Then, for some reason, Deniz was shoved back in the closet and dated women exclusively on the show. Fans were heartbroken. Even worse, they hardly got a chance to interact, with their storylines going in opposite directions. But last summer, their characters connected again, and they got back together. And, thankfully, the pairing was even stronger than ever.

2. The writing. DeRo 2.0, as the reunion is called in the fandom, was one of the most amazing pieces of TV writing I've ever seen. The writers managed to take two characters who had been badly damaged by the ending of their first romance and made a reunion not just believable but inevitable. The story played out over several months, taking the time to explore the reasons they didn't work out the first time, the growth in both characters, the pain and mistrust they needed to get past, and their new connection based on honesty, maturity, and true love (not just soap-styled lust masquerading as love). Threads from years-old storylines were woven in to make a tapestry that brought everything full circle. It was fabulous.

3. The acting. Since discovering AWZ, I've consistently maintained that Dennis Grabosch is one of the finest actors working today. I have yet to see a false note in any of his performances. They're always honest, subtle, and pitch-perfect. (Note to Hollywood – WHY haven't you snatched this man up yet? He speaks English, too, for heaven's sake!) But Igor's performance during this new reunion storyline absolutely astonished me. He managed to convince even the most diehard Deniz-haters that these two deserved to be together. Over the course of those months, he transformed a character that had previously been written as somewhat shallow and self-involved and made him sympathetic, mature, and a fit partner for Roman. And again, it was the subtlety of the work that stood out. It would have been so easy to project "lovesick" and "despondent" and "ecstatic" with overdone expressions and line readings. Instead, he stuck with the quiet moments that conveyed those same emotions but in a more honest, heartwrenching way.

For Example: Episode 772. This episode really highlights the talent these two actors bring to the table. But pay attention to the last minute and a half. When Roman stops Deniz from leaving, at the bar? The expression on Deniz's face is absolutely perfect for the moment. Not overblown, not "acting", but honest, heartbreaking, and beautiful.

4. The chemistry. Both characters have been paired with others on the show (Deniz more than Roman, which boggles the mind), but their chemistry with other partners is not even close to what they have together. It's off the charts. And that holds true whether their characters are in love, in hate, or in between. Even a glance between them during the Dark Years (yes, another fandom term - the time period after the break up and before they became friends again, let alone partners) was fraught with tension and sparks. It's that little extra something that takes the characters beyond a good pairing and lifts them head and shoulders above.

5. The shallow. Uhm, have you LOOKED at them? Rowr.

So it was impossible to narrow my TV crush down to just one guy. Sorry, Igor and Dennis, you'll just have to share.
For more on Igor, Dennis and AWZ:
Watch Eskimo Kiss Project on You Tube (episode clips subtitled in English)
Visit the RTL website
Dennis Grabosch's website
Igor Dolgatschew's website
Meet them in person at the Gays of our Lives event in NYC, March 26-28!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Book BIN Tuesday - Moon Craving

I've been hooked on Lucy Monroe's historical werewolves from the beginning, so you can guess how excited I am to see Moon Craving finally hit the shelves! Here's the deets:

If it were up to him, Talorc—laird of the Sinclair clan and leader of his werewolf pack— would never marry. But when the king orders that Talorc wed an Englishwoman, the lone wolf is shocked to find his mate in the strong-willed Abigail. And after an intensely climactic wedding night, the two fiercely independent souls sense an unbreakable bond…

Deaf since childhood, Abigail hopes to keep her affliction from Talorc as long as possible. And for his part, he has no intention of telling her about being a werewolf. But when Abigail learns that the husband she’s begun to love has deceived her, it will take all of his warrior’s strength—and his wolf’s cunning—to win his wife back. And Talorc will have to face his biggest challenge yet: the vulnerability of a man in love…

It sounds wonderful, don't you think? So why not run on out and Buy It Now?