Friday, July 31, 2009

Over at Emma Lai's today

I'm hanging out with the lovely and multitalented Emma Lai on her blog. Come on over and join the fun. We'll save you some cookies.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why I wish I still lived in New Jersey

Besides the main fact I'd be nearer my family, I'd also be nearer to New York City.
And I love NYC.
For one, The New York Times' Times Talk series. Journalists interview authors such as E.L. Doctorow,screenwriter/actor/director Quentin Tarantino (sold out already), and on Oct. 4, a whole host of literary greats, including Nick Hornby, Patricia Cornwell, Nicholas Sparks (hey, say what you will, he's a bestseller again and again) and others.
The Gotham Writers Workshop has so many offerings in NYC too. I've taken a few online classes and woudl recommend them, but nothing compares to a real classroom setting, with live feedback. Many times, Gotham offers free classes.
At some point, I'd love love love to take Robert McKee's Story seminar when it returns to NY (or possibly closer?)
Since I can't get there for awhile, I'll settle for the YouTube snippets below. I'd also recommend any writer - not just screenwriters - buy Robert McKee's Story. An excerpt is available online.










Sunday, July 26, 2009

In a state of flux

Visit The Susquehanna Writers blog and let me know what you think about the changes in the publishing industry.

New trailer for Picture This

Less than two weeks till Eternal Press releases Picture This on August 7!

I just finished the trailer:



Here again is the excerpt:
Sydney didn’t like the look in Claudia’s eye. Like she was about to fire her. “Uh oh. What’s going on?”
Claudia took off her reading glasses, always a precursor to a delicate conversation. Never a good sign. “Do you remember Ben Taylor?”
Sydney released the breath she held. “Is that a trick question? We only have a conversation about him once a week or so.”
She hadn’t seen him in almost a year, a night that began with excitement and promise, continued blissfully for hours, and ended like a train wreck, with Ben dragged from the wreckage by another woman. Possibly his fiancé. Sydney could never quite learn the true story, but that fateful night stood out in her memory as a marker. The beginning of the end. After that, all her dates ended on a sour note. Ben Taylor had opened the flood gates of Bad Date Hell. From those gates streamed a neverending lineup of ill-suited matches, men who she should never have wasted her time on, but who each looked so tempting, she couldn’t resist trying. That was the thing about Hell, though, wasn’t it? People ended up there because the sin always seemed like a good idea at the time.
Claudia pursed her lips. “Yes, I know. The thing is… how do I put this?”
Sydney tensed. Claudia was not one to dance around a topic. Her style was more blunt – the resulting blunt force trauma notwithstanding. Something must be wrong. Terribly wrong.
She blanched. “Is he… “ Her voice trailed off. She couldn’t finish. Ben must be dead. Why else would her editor – her friend, her confidant, her mentor – be looking at her with such pity?
“He’s here.” Claudia watched her as if ready to catch her woozy body.
Those two short words snapped Sydney to attention. “Here?”


Friday, July 24, 2009

Welcome special guest author Sandy Wickersham-McWhorter!

Cate: Please welcome Sandy Wickersham-McWhorter. Sandy, will you please share a short bio with us?
Sandy: Thank you for having me, Cate. I went into the Air Force in 1971 from my hometown of Muncie, Indiana, where I lived with my grandmother since 1959 and loved reading and writing. I met my husband at Scott, AFB, married in 1973, went to Ohio, got bitten by the adult writing bug in 1989, had 2 sons in there, got an English degree from Ohio State, sold 2 books to the Wild Rose Press and White Rose Publishing in 2007 and 2008, had 2 granddaughters, and here we are.

Cate: Tell us about The Winds of Fall and where it's available.
Sandy: Winds is based on 2 dreams I had as a child and I started the rough draft in 1990. I took many years to actually get it in its present form because I didn’t know what I was doing back then. Winds is a The Stranger Within meets Men In Black, fish-out-of-water tale. Skye’s an artist/astrophysicist and an alien though she doesn’t know it—yet. Joe’s an alien and recognizes what Skye is immediately when he sees her arm imbedded in his painting at an art gallery. Winds is a psychological study of a man’s defiance against his family’s Mafia-like rules, and a woman’s slipping sanity due to torment from a creature no one can see and her horrifying dreams, set against an impending invasion only she can stop. It makes an emotional read that those who’ve read it say they can’t put down. We’re all held back by and struggle against societal and familial rules that keep us from learning and growing into what we truly should be. It’s available through me for an autographed copy, through Wild Rose Press’s website, Barnes & Noble’s website, or Amazon.com.

Cate: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Sandy: I actually started writing in 3rd grade when I turned my dreams into short stories. The adult writing bug bit me in October, 1990, when I wrote an article about a family trip to an animal auction in Kidron, Ohio, and it was published by a local weekly paper. The novel bug bit me that same year with a comment from my oldest son when we were sitting in the driveway beside a car I’d recently wrecked. The call wasn’t a call but an e-mail from The Wild Rose Press and it came when I was in intensive care because I had stopped breathing. That didn’t matter compared to the news my DIL gave me when she checked my e-mail on December 8, my birthday, and saw THE e-mail. That, and breathing again, made my birthday in 2007 the best ever.

Cate: Wow, that's quite a story, Sandy! I'm glad you had a happy ending as well!
Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Sandy: My father was doing some writing before he died in 2001, mostly poetry. My brother teaches college and is working on some writing projects as his landscaping business, teaching, and being a preacher allows him. Several members of my immediate family just tolerate my writing and being published--to each his own I guess! My ex-SIL is an unpublished romance writer, and she’s finally working consistently on a suspense novel located in Ohio’s Amish country set against upheaval and the collapse of America’s political system and the effect on one family.

Cate: Describe your writing in three words.
Sandy: Unexpected romantic fiction OR Oddly unexpected romance.

Cate: How many hours a day do you write?
Sandy: I’d say about 1½-6 hours a day. In the winter, I substitute teach many weekdays and have about 1½ or more hours free during the teacher’s lunch and planning time. I come home, have supper, then before I go to bed for the next day I try to type in the changes I made to the printed pages during the day, sometimes I can’t. I take my MIL to her hairdresser appointment/shopping every Thursday, run my oldest son around on days he doesn’t feel well after kidney dialysis, teach English 101 in local male prisons and grade their papers, watch certain shows with my hubby after he gets off work, and a ton of other things. In the summer, there’s gardening and yardwork; I’m my MIL’s landscaper and my own. I think I average about the same 1-6 hours a day but I spend at least 2 hours a day doing promotional work and a few art projects I can’t get done in the winter.

Cate: Do you have a writing routine?
Sandy: When I get home from subbing I decompress with the hot tea and check the e-mail accounts and handle any business they may need. If my husband isn’t home, I enter new text, research, or make changes on a chapter in the computer until about 6, eat supper, then go back to the writing until he gets home. I check e-mail just before bed. On my days off, I write about 6-10 hours with time for answering e-mails as needed.

Cate: How do you pick the character’s names?
Sandy: Oh geez, that’s a good one, hum, I use many family and friends names, in fact, my grandmother and grandfather, Lona and Edward Resler, are the grandparents in my first novel, Cottonwood Place. Then I use names I like or make up from objects around me. The 200-year-old shape-shifting secretary, Mrs. Euncer, in one of my WIPs got her name from the bottle of Eucerin lotion on my desk. I always put my brother Greg, my high school friend, Rita, and my husband’s best friend and his wife, Dennis and Cindy, in my novels. Almost all my heroines’ names start with S, and my heroes seem to start with J, though I change them sometimes.

Cate: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Sandy: Lately, the most challenging is finding a quiet place to write without interruptions because too many people live with us (youngest son, his wife, their two children, and our oldest son) until my DIL graduates from college. It’s very frustrating, but I do get to see my granddaughters daily, something many grandparents don’t have. Easiest aspect...hum...I’d say coming up with the basic plotlines and story ideas, I thrive on that!

Cate: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Sandy: There are so many I can hardly list them all. For me, the first is the chance to research, I drool over researching, get excited about odd tidbits that add authenticity and accuracy to the setting and other important parts of a story, and to learn many new things, anything to ward off Alzheimer’s! Secondly, there’s the writing itself, I get lost in the story as I write, just like we hear so many other authors say, and time stands still. The last most rewarding aspect is what we hear many other artists say about their craft, the journey of doing the work, the daily writing, the rush of coming up with a plot breakthrough.

Cate: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Sandy: Well...yes and no. They do haunt my dreams in one sense because that’s where I get many of the ideas for my stories. I woke up at 4 the other morning plotting out the sequels for Cottonwood Place and couldn’t shut it off and go back to sleep-ack! No, in that they don’t live with me like you hear other authors say. I mostly think about the book I’m working on 24-7 until I finish it, not quite to the obsession level but almost.

Cate: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Sandy: Years ago a publisher who published paranormals rejected The Winds of Fall saying it was “too weird for their readers,” and in almost all the reviews of Cottonwood Place, the reviewers all say they want to go stay in the Cottonwood Place Bed and Breakfast Inn and have their problems solve by Megan and Ian—that’s just plain weird!

Cate: That certainly goes against the lovely comment by Anne Seymour, your editor for The Winds of Fall: "Ms. Wickersham-McWhorter makes writing an artwork, painting beautiful characters that vividly glow like Monet’s Impression, Sunrise."
So who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Sandy: That’s an easy one! Anything by Deborah Simmons, Flora Speer, Phyllis Whitney, Jules Verne, Robert A. Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Andre Norton, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clark, Mary Stewart’s King Arthur series from the ‘70s, and Conrad Richter’s trilogy about the settling of Ohio-The Trees, The Fields, and The Town. I’m reading Lori Foster’s Servant: The Awakening and Mary Janice Davidson’s Fish out of Water right now.

Cate: What's next for you?
Sandy: Finishing The Winter Road (readers, you can download Chapter 1 here) and Orion Comes in Winter and getting them to my publisher so I can hopefully have a new book out next year. That will leave me free to write a sequel to Cottonwood Place that has been nagging me to get it written.

Cate: Where can you be found on the web?
Sandy: on my website at www.sandywick.com, every 3rd Friday of the month on the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Ohio Romance Authors blog on MySpace- http://www.myspace.com/romanceauthors, and I’ll soon be blogging at least monthly the White Roses in Bloom blogspot regularly http://whiterosesinbloom.blogspot.com.

Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Sandy: Of those who answer my question I’ll pick the best answer for an autographed copy of either of my books-Cottonwood Place or The Winds of Fall. I was raised by my grandmother and she made me a nature nut. I feed birds year-round and recognize many species by sight and their call, have a dog I’d die for, 7 very old goldfish in my outdoor pond that I treasure, and many favorite tree species, especially my 85-foot female cottonwood in my backyard and the mulberry tree across the road that’s as big as a three-story house. I have many treasured memories of being outdoors both as a kid in the ‘50s and ‘60s and as an adult. The question to you is what is your one most treasured memory of being outdoors?

Cate: Readers, you heard Sandy. She's giving away a book to a random commenter... so start commenting. She'll pick a winner on Sunday, July 26, so be sure to check back!

Below is the blurb and excerpt for The Winds of Fall.

Blurb
Unknown to Skye Worthington, the people most important to her are keeping unearthly secrets from her. If not revealed and faced, these secrets will cause death for untold billions of people, Skye included. Rebelling against his family and their deadly, but necessary, secrets which kept him a recluse in a Caribbean paradise, Joe Allen meets Skye. They fall into a love forbidden to Joe. Can two people with unimaginable secrets—and more in common than either know—overcome a force capable of entering dreams and taking humans through outer space without life support to other planets? This is the dilemma facing Skye and Joe as she fights to keep her sanity, and her identity as a human being.

Excerpt
Powerless to resist, Skye Worthington watched her hand rise to the huge artwork in front of her. Her fingers played in the blades of blue plastic grass swaying in a soft breeze from tiny fans in the artwork.
Though she didn’t want them to, her fingers caressed the little wooden people’s silken clothes. Green ceramic hills next drew her hand to them to enjoy their enameled smoothness. From somewhere in her mind, she knew these small hills represented real hills she’d seen some time before.
She heard the people of the real hills pleading to her mind, Return home to fly with us on your green hills.
Skye hated the feeling of aloneness flooding her mind because she couldn’t fly over these familiar slopes, as she’d done many times before.
To be free you must join the people in the artwork. Her inner artist thought.
No, that’s not a true statement. Her inner scientist thought back.
Her face started moving toward the artwork, and she couldn’t stop it. Fans in the hills blew her hair around as she got closer. Tears flowed down her cheeks as a nauseating homesickness overwhelmed her.
The inner-scientist panicked, silently screaming, This isn’t logical! Artworks can’t talk. Fight!
She willed her gaze to move from the canvas. It didn’t.
She tried to scream. She couldn’t.
She tried to back up. Her foot hit the wall in front of her instead.
She wanted her fingers to leave the artwork.
They didn’t move.
The painting’s people shouted to her mind, Return home, or you will die!
Nothing could break the magnetic bond between her hand and the white-capped acrylic ocean.
****
Joseph Allen liked the St. Louis’s gallery’s open arrangement. The main room’s partitions only went up eight feet of its fifteen-foot height. Three or four artworks hung on each partition’s sides, giving private settings to ponder the art; the part he liked best. Skylights, and the room’s shape, reminded him of a room he didn’t see much since he became vice-president of his family’s company.
He’d decided to check his contest entry before going to his hotel for the night, and he’d waited until the gallery was almost empty. The gallery’s owner had hung his entry in the best place, the back. Joe could let his guard down there. He strolled around the partitions, looking at the other contest entries.
When he turned the corner to his entry’s area, he saw a woman near his canvas. She was touching it. Wasn’t she aware of art gallery etiquette? “Hey, get your hand off my painting.”
“Leave me alone. I want to go home. I must go home.” She said in a monotone voice.
He stepped closer, and his heart jumped into his throat. Her left hand had entered his artwork, and her forearm slid in as he watched! Joe moved closer and said, “Get away from my canvas.”
He could hardly breathe as he prayed no one would see them. The consequences would be unimaginable.
The woman slowly turned her head toward him. Like in some nightmarish horror movie, she looked at him with vertical cat’s-eye pupils instead of human pupils. A gasp escaped his lips. He wanted to run, to hide from what he knew the future would now bring, but horrified fascination glued his feet to the floor.
A cobalt-blue emptiness gradually replaced her green irises and the cat’s-eye pupils. He’d never seen human eyes do anything remotely like this. He blinked away his shock and regained enough control
to say, “You must get away from my painting! Now.”
She didn’t respond.
Fear of being seen made Joe close the short distance to her and shake her shoulder. “If anyone sees what you’re doing—”
“Leave me alone. I want to go home. I must go home.” She replied in the same monotone. Her elbow slid into his entry as she spoke.
As her face turned back to his artwork, a knife of horrendous loneliness sliced through Joe’s mind. He had to find out what made her feel that empty and alone. People can’t survive such loneliness.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Doing the diva thing today


Pop on over to Popculturedivas to learn about Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's upcoming magical collaborations.
Tiaras optional.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On top of the world!

Or something just as good!
I'm so thrilled - Seventh Heaven has been at the number 1 spot on The Wild Rose Press's Bestseller List for a week now! Woot!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Amazon's practices questioned again

It never occurred to me that once you download an ebook onto your Kindle, it might disappear for reasons other than mechanical failure. Naively, I assumed it was a one-way transaction.
Apparently Amazon keeps the connection open, as customers who purchased George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm found out. When they looked for their copy on their Kindle, nothing was there. A situation that may reoccur, according to some.
I'm sure The New York Times' David Pogue wasn't the only one to notice the irony of the situation.
As ebooks - and ereaders - gain popularity, it's an issue that will have to be dealt with through policy, if not regulation. Same for ebook piracy, a rising threat to ebook authors and publishers. One I hope will be addressed - including penalties for illegal sharing sites - soon.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Touring today



I hope you'll visit me today at Sierra Rose Books, where I'm guest blogging about what it means to me to be a writer. Come share your thoughts!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Welcome special guest author Donna Marie Rogers!

Cate: Please welcome Donna Marie Rogers. Donna, will you please share a short bio with us?
Donna: At the risk of boring everyone right out of the gate, I'd be happy to. I live in beautiful Northeast Wisconsin in a renovated old schoolhouse with my husband of nearly 15 years, and my two beautiful little girls. I just finished serving a third year as conference chair for my local chapter, and I still serve as co-area contact with my cp/co-author/good friend Stacey Joy Netzel. Meant To Be is my third book in print, and I also have a contemporary western novella, as well as several short stories under the pen name Liza James.

Cate: Tell us about Meant To Be and where it's available.
Donna: Meant To Be is the sequel to There's Only Been You, which released last October from The Wild Rose Press. Before I had even finished writing the first draft of There's Only Been You, I knew I would be writing Garrett's story. The guy was just too sexy for words. Garrett Jamison is Sara's oldest brother, and he's a big moody cop with a heart of gold.

Here's a blurb:
She's running from her past, he's unsure about his future. Maybe together they can figure out what was MEANT TO BE. Officer Garrett Jamison is at the lowest point in his life. He’s lost faith in his ability as a police officer after unwittingly setting his sister up with a dirty cop. Garrett ended up getting shot, and his sister's son kidnapped right out of his own bed. He takes a leave from the force, in need of some time to make a decision about his future. Too bad he can't get a decent night's sleep thanks to his sexy new neighbor and her howling cat.
Jessica McGovern moves halfway across the country to start a new life in Green Bay, Wisconsin after her ex-husband is convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of their young son. Her new neighbor is as infuriating as he is handsome, but when her ex is released from prison early and shows up in town, Jessica discovers she's never needed anyone more.


[Readers, you can view the Meant to Be trailer here, or the trailer for There's Only Been You.]

Cate: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Donna: I was in my mid twenties when I decided to try and write my own romance novel. A historical, and I still remember my cheesy opening...LOL But I soon realized it was a lot harder to write a full-length novel than I'd thought. So after filling up tons of notebooks with partially-written stories, I became discouraged and quit writing. Several years later in 2004, I sat down at the computer and started working on There's Only Been You (Worth the Wait was the original title). I finished the first draft eight months later and was so freakin' excited! LOL
My first published story was a short erotic romance written under my pen name Liza James, which released on May 16, 2007. My first Donna Marie Rogers title released September 30th of the same year, and was also my first print book, Welcome To Redemption, an anthology I wrote with Stacey Joy Netzel. No fabulous "call story," unfortunately. All my contracts have been done through email.

Cate: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Donna: My mom attempted to write a Native American romance awhile back, but she gave up pretty quickly. My stepdad was a poet, though I don't think he published anything. He won a lot of awards from contests. When he passed he left me his notebooks full of poems and certificates. In fact, they were found on his kitchen table the day he passed with a note that read "For Donna."

Cate: Oh my gosh, that's so touching. How lovely he entrusted his work to you.
Please describe your writing in three words.
Donna: Emotional, heartwarming, humorous, hot...sorry, that's four, but I couldn't decide. I got these words from my reviews and my CPs.

Cate: Do you have a writing routine?
Donna: I wish I did. Once fall arrives and both my kids are in school, I plan to plant my butt in front of the computer and write until I hear the first bus pull up in front of the house. Well, I'll probably take a break to do some Wii Fit once I figure out how to use it.

Cate: Oh, I could use one of those too! How many hours a day do you write?
Donna: I don't have a set time, though that probably wouldn't be a bad idea since I've been a really bad girl lately...LOL

Cate: How do you pick the character’s names?
Donna: Sometimes that's one of my biggest holdups, when I can't settle on a name for a character. Sometimes I flip through my baby name book, or troll the baby name sites online. Sometimes I just hear a name that really strikes my fancy. Like Brody. I'm crushing on Brody from One Life To Live, so I plan to name one of my heroes after him. ;-)

Cate: Names can hang up my stories too! I keep an old phone book at my desk for when I'm really stuck.
What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Donna: A big challenge for me is plotting. Sometimes I have the hardest time developing a plot I'm happy with. Thankfully, I have great friends/CPs who help me fine-tune things. Also, just finding the time to actually string a few sentences together. Once the school year starts, I'm going to settle down to a strict routine if it kills me. LOL
Dialogue has always been one of my strengths, or so I've been told. Character and world building, too. I also very enjoy writing love scenes, which is why I decided to try my hand at erotic romance.

Cate: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Donna: Having someone tell you how much they loved your book, whether it's a friend, family member, fellow author, or a reader. Nothing feels better than hearing, "I just finished your book and I loved it!"
Running a close second would be a great review. I've been blessed with some amazing reviews, and that's one thing that never gets old. One of my (and Stacey's) very first reviews was a 4-1/2* star from Romantic Times for Welcome To Redemption. I can't even put into words how excited we were. :-)

Cate: Excellent! I agree, a great review can inspire for a long time.
Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Donna: Oh, boy, do they ever! Mostly they say, "Hey, lady we're bored here. Get your butt in gear and give us something to do!" LOL

Cate: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Donna: Bestselling author Tori Carrington gave me my cover quote for There's Only Been You, and one line "Reading Donna Marie Rogers is like coming home." just blew me away. I felt so honored to have my story described in such a profound way.

Cate: What a lovely tribute!
Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Donna: Ah, now here's a subject I can go on about...LOL Lately, I can't get enough of Lara Adrian, J.R. Ward, Christie Craig. My all-time favorite book is A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught, but several close seconds are Say No To Joe? by Lori Foster, Rainbows & Rapture by Rebecca Paisley, Honor's Splendour by Julie Garwood, Cry No More by Linda Howard, Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, A Knight In Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux, and too many to name by Dorothy Garlock (mainly her older historicals).
A few more of my favorite authors are Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick, Mary Jo Putney, Johanna Lindsey, Catherine Hart, Norah Hess, Elizabeth Lowell, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Tori Carrington....I could keep going; there's just so many incredible authors out there. :-)
The book I just started reading is Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich. I love her Stephanie Plum series - gotta get my Ranger & Morelli fix. Just a few pages in and I'm already grinning like a fool.

Cate: What's next for you, Donna?
Donna: Stacey & I are working on the sequel to Welcome To Redemption, and I'm deep into Jack Sutton's story, who you meet in Meant To Be. I have a Liza James title in the works, and I need to get started on Head Over Heels, Nick Jamison's story.

Cate: Sounds like you're keeping plenty busy!
Where can readers find you on the web?
Donna: I have two websites: www.DonnaMarieRogers.com and www.LizaJamesAuthor.com I'm also on Myspace and Facebook (though I've yet to figure that one out...). My alter ego, Liza James can be found at: http://romanticcravings.blogspot.com/

Cate: Donna, is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Donna: I'd like to thank you, Cate, for having me, and everyone else for stopping by! I'm going to give away a download of my new release, Meant To Be, and all you have to do to be eligible is share a favorite line (or paragraph because I know picking just one line can be hard ) from your favorite book...and yes, please tell us what book it's from in case we want to check it out. ;-) Thanks again, everyone, and a special thanks to Goddess Fish Promotions!

Cate: It's been a pleasure, Donna! Best of luck with the release of Meant to Be!
Readers, you heard Donna. She's giving away an ebook of Meant To Be to a random commenter... so throw us your favorite lines. **Donna is also giving away two sets of print books (There's Only Been You & Meant To Be) to two random commenters on her 17 day blog tour, so that's 17 chances to win if you comment at each blog on her tour. She'll announce a winner of the download tomorrow around 7 pm EST.


Excerpt
Standing there in nothing but a pair of black gym shorts, he was too hot for words. Damn him.

"So what can I do for you?" He leaned negligently against the doorframe, an almost pleasant smile curving his lips.

"I'm here to see Nick. Is he home?"

The smile disappeared. He straightened and crossed his arms over his chest, which made those huge biceps bulge even more. Jessica realized for the first time he had a tattoo. Huh. She wouldn't have thought him the type. Frankly, she thought tattoos were sexy, if they weren't garish, which his wasn't. It looked to be some sort of Chinese symbols.

Probably means `He-with-head-too-big-for-hat.'

"You're barking up the wrong tree there, honey. Nicky's married to his computer."

"Not that it's any of your business, but that's exactly why I'm here. I'm having trouble with my online service and was hoping he could help." Now why did she feel the urge to explain herself? Double damn him.

He looked her up and down in an insultingly blatant manner. "I know a thing or two about computers."

"No kidding? Great, next time I need help surfing the porno sites, you'll be the first one I call."

His eyes went cold. "You think I'm just some big, dumb Neanderthal, don't you?"

Jessica gave him the same insulting once over he'd given her. "If the leopard toga fits..."

"I happen to have a BS in Computer Science."

Hands on hips, jaw working furiously, he looked so offended Jessica was hard-pressed not to laugh. "I don't understand. You could be making a lot more money in computers than you are as a cop. And you wouldn't be putting your life in danger on a daily basis." She glanced meaningfully at the scarred flesh visible just above the waistband of his shorts.

"This didn't happen in the line of duty. Besides, I love being a cop."

He said it as if she should've instinctually known it. Jessica sighed. Garrett Jamison was turning out to be much deeper than she'd imagined. "It's a noble profession. It's also a very dangerous one."

"True enough. But it's not as if I have a family who's dependent on me."

She reached up to tuck a stray lock of hair behind her ear. "What about your uncle, or your sister and brothers? Or your nephew? I'm sure they'd all be devastated if something happened to you."

"What about you?"

His voice had taken on a deep, sexy timbre that turned Jessica's knees to mush. Garrett Jamison was entirely too gorgeous for his own good--or for hers. "What about me?"

Before she knew what he was about, he reached out and cupped the side of her face, tracing his thumb over her cheekbone. "Would you miss me if something happened?"

"What a thing to ask," she breathed, her gaze centered on his full lips. "I barely know you." Was he going to kiss her? Right there where any of the neighbors could see? Not that she'd mind...

"Uncle Garrett, the game's set up. Can we order pizza now?"

Garrett snatched back his hand, and Jessica's gaze dropped to the little boy leaning possessively against his leg.

Was it her imagination, or was the little stinker glaring daggers at her?

"Hi, Ethan, my name is Jessica."

"I know."

Nope, not her imagination. In fact, the scowl on his face was downright hostile. Now what in the world had she done to warrant such disfavor?

"Ethan, you watch your manners," Garrett growled.

"Yes, sir."

He cast her one last mutinous scowl, then turned and ran back into the house. Jessica had to resist the urge to laugh. She wouldn't take his behavior personally. The boy obviously adored his uncle and didn't care to share him. Another fascinating layer of Garrett Jamison--loving uncle.

"Sorry about that. Ethan's a good kid. I'm not sure what got into him."

"My guess would be old-fashioned jealousy. You two apparently have plans for the evening, and when he saw us...talking, his young mind assumed I was trying to lure you away."

A frown creased his forehead. "I don't know. Ethan knows I'd never abandon him. For anyone."

Ouch, point taken. She shrugged. "You know him better than I do. I'm just telling you what I saw. Well, this has been fun, but I need to get back. Mr. Louie doesn't like to watch TV alone."

Garrett chuckled. "Give His Highness a scratch behind the ears for me."

"What? Just this afternoon you suggested I have him euthanized."

"Good Lord, woman, can't you take a joke?" Garrett winked at her, then stepped back and closed the door.

Jessica shook her head. The man was crazy, no doubt about it. He was also so handsome it should be a crime. With a sigh of frustration, she headed back home to watch Wheel of Fortune.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Welcome special guest author Kim Smith!

Please welcome guest author Kim Smith, whose novel A Will to Love, is available through Red Rose Publishing. Welcome Kim!


Recently, I had the privilege of spending time at Grand Harbor Marina at Pickwick Landing on my brother’s sailboat. Let me tell you, it was way too restful.

There is nothing like sitting under a red-faced moon, with a sprinkling of stars overhead and a mild early summer wind a’blowin’ to inspire you to write like nobody’s business.

Funny thing is, I could write on my troublesome WIP, or another story, even one that I just dreamed up as I walked the piers at the marina looking at beautiful watercraft- but, what did I do? I wrote on this blog post, instead.

The purpose of said post? To inspire someone. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and I am she.

I believe truly that you can be inspired just about anywhere at any time, but if you want to REALLY be inspired, get away from your norm.

Leave the house, drive a few minutes away, leave all your interruptions behind. I had no Internet connection at the marina, no telephone service, no nothing but water, sky, seabirds and to some extent, salvation. I finally found enough quiet to hear my muse talking.

That is what we all need. SILENCE. Yes, total utter peace and quiet. If you listen to silence long enough, you will hear the voices begin to speak. I promise you it will happen! And once it does, you better have that laptop or journal handy because there will be some GREAT stuff falling from your fingertips.

Here is a little checklist for your retreat:
1. Take a drive a couple hours away from home. Being alone is not required. I had the captain(my brother) of the Last Resort (the sailboat’s name) with me and he was a great retreat buddy because he read, napped, handed out snacks, and waited patiently for me to go to bed so he could. I am now past midnight writing this to you, filled to the brim with happiness at just being able to THINK clearly and thoughtfully.

2. Get to the place where you need to be in order to create. I like nature. I like silence, or very little man-made noise. The things I hear right now are chimes from the gentle breeze blowing, a whirring of rigging, a fan blowing on me and music of my choice on my laptop. It is wonderful!

3. Sit at your laptop, or notebook, and begin writing something even if it is a blog post to me. Tell me what you hear, what you smell, what you are thinking, what is bothering you. Better yet, begin working on that WIP that you have been putting aside for so long.

4. Don’t overdo it! You want to leave that muse happy, not exhausted!

I hope you find this helpful!



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Today's release day for Going with Gravity!

The Wild Rose Press releases Going with Gravity today!

This contemporary romance, set mainly in Hawaii, is inspired by true-life events in which the fuselage fell off an airplane in mid-flight. The plane managed to land with no injuries. Such intense drama made me wonder: Hmm, who could I put on that plane, in that situation? To add to the tension, I devised two polar opposite personalities: an uptight career woman and a live-by-the-seat-of-his-shorts surfer. Set in a paradise I’ve always wished I could visit – Hawaii.

In researching the story, I was surprised to learn how evocative the Hawaiian language is. With just a few syllables, words take on complex meanings. The meaning of the word Hawaii itself is such a gorgeous example – ‘Ha’ means ‘the breath of life’ and ‘wai’ means ‘fresh or living waters’ plus ‘i’ refers to ‘the divine in each of us.’ No wonder it’s such a beautiful inspiration! Someday I hope to find out for myself. In the meantime, I love that writing allows me to visit cool places vicariously through my characters!

To celebrate Going with Gravity's release, I'm giving away a PDF copy to a random commenter. I'll announce a winner tomorrow night, so be sure to check back.



Excerpt
Allison pulled her portfolio from her laptop case and set it on her lap, afraid to open it. As soon as the articles had arrived on her fax machine, she’d shoved them into her bag, then hopped in the shower. Delay tactics only worked for so long. The moment of truth had arrived. She opened it and thumbed through. Eleven pages. Eleven. And these were only the newspaper articles from the past two days. TV and online news sites surely covered more. And then there’d be the inevitable blogger. Uncontrollable, overly opinionated and accountable to no one, they were the worst.
Michelle had arrived on Oahu with a bang, and then had the audacity to blame Allison for not doing her job to quell the media. She held up one photo of a topless Michelle prancing in the surf, laughing. Rumors and innuendo could be stopped with logic and tact, but to downplay this photo, she’d need a good explanation. When Michelle’s logic and tact failed her so obviously, Allison had to wonder about her mental state.
A hulking figure filled the aisle, stowing his bag in the overhead compartment.
Those shorts. That shirt.
It was him.
He checked his ticket, looked at her and smiled. His blond hair fell across his forehead as he sat next to her, his shoulder bumping hers. “Hello again.”
For two years, she’d rubbed elbows with stars of all magnitudes without so much as a blink, and fended off paparazzi following the wife of megastar James McCarter.
With two words, she’d been reduced to the rank of dreamy-eyed teeny bopper.
He smiled, raised an eyebrow.
She realized, then, she hadn’t responded. And her mouth hung open.
Make that drooling dreamy-eyed teeny bopper.
She flashed a smile. Think. Damage control is your business. Put it to good use for once.
“Hi.” Oh, yes. Very witty. What a deft deflection of his charm.
She turned back to her articles, but sensed the weight of his stare.
He frowned at her reading material. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to read over your shoulder. I take it you’re a closet fan of the poor little rich girl?”
“In the same way I’m a closet fan of train wrecks, I suppose. I guess you’re not a fan.”
“Of hers?” He chuckled. “God, no. She’s awful. Her publicist should be shot.”
Shot. Of course. Working fifty-five to sixty-five hours a week wasn’t enough to keep the spin spinning fast enough for the rest of the world. The one guy who’d interested her in the past two and a half years thought she made a good candidate for execution. Her life was in such a rut, she’d need mountain climbing gear to get out.
“If you’re a fan, I didn’t mean to offend.” Sincerity had wiped the smile from his face.
“Actually, I’m..” She turned and smiled, “…her publicist.”


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New cover for Picture This novella

Hooray! My cover's here for Picture This, my contemporary women's fiction coming soon (no date yet) from Eternal Press. Picture This will also be available in print from Amazon. Woot!
Here are the unofficial blurb and excerpt:
Harrisburg News reporter Sydney Welles writes award-winning, attention-getting news stories. Her career’s on track, but she’d like a little more attention in her personal life. A year ago, she shared a great kiss with Philadelphia Daily News photographer Ben Taylor. Since then, nothing but a string of one-hit wonders. Suddenly, Ben’s back in her life – well, in her newsroom, anyway – but he acts as if he’s meeting her for the first time. Their story assignments throw them into uncomfortably close quarters, but Claudia, her editor, reminds Sydney she’s a consummate professional. She can handle it. Sydney’s not so certain when she and Ben go undercover to expose the mayor for shady dealings and he kisses her again. To keep their cover, he says. The mayor resigns amid shame, and Sydney’s the toast of the town. Two other reporters take an interest in more than her journalistic talents, but Sydney can’t help picturing herself back in Ben’s arms.

Excerpt:
Sydney didn’t like the look in Claudia’s eye. Like she was about to fire her. “Uh oh. What’s going on?”
Claudia took off her reading glasses, always a precursor to a delicate conversation. Never a good sign. “Do you remember Ben Taylor?”
Sydney released the breath she held. “Is that a trick question? We only have a conversation about him once a week or so.”
She hadn’t seen him in almost a year, a night that began with excitement and promise, continued blissfully for hours, and ended like a train wreck, with Ben dragged from the wreckage by another woman. Possibly his fiancé. Sydney could never quite learn the true story, but that fateful night stood out in her memory as a marker. The beginning of the end. After that, all her dates ended on a sour note. Ben Taylor had opened the flood gates of Bad Date Hell. From those gates streamed a neverending lineup of ill-suited matches, men who she should never have wasted her time on, but who each looked so tempting, she couldn’t resist trying. That was the thing about Hell, though, wasn’t it? People ended up there because the sin always seemed like a good idea at the time.
Claudia pursed her lips. “Yes, I know. The thing is… how do I put this?”
Sydney tensed. Claudia was not one to dance around a topic. Her style was more blunt – the resulting blunt force trauma notwithstanding. Something must be wrong. Terribly wrong.
She blanched. “Is he… “ Her voice trailed off. She couldn’t finish. Ben must be dead. Why else would her editor – her friend, her confidant, her mentor – be looking at her with such pity?
“He’s here.” Claudia watched her as if ready to catch her woozy body.
Those two short words snapped Sydney to attention. “Here?”

Saturday, July 11, 2009

An interview with Mistress Bella

In advance of The Wild Rose Press's release of Going with Gravity on Wednesday, Mistress Bella was kind enough to interview me. Check it out!
And check back on Wednesday, when I'll be over at Allie Boniface's blog, where I'll be giving away a PDF of Going with Gravity.

Free is in the interpretation?

Awhile back, I'd mentioned in a post about the concept of publishing your book for free. The editor-in-chief of Wired, Chris Anderson, posited free books made the most business sense.
Hmm. I respectfully disagreed then, and now, even moreso. Apparently, Anderson's book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price, appeared on the Scribd site. Sure, it logged more than 17,000 views in one day.
But apparently, "free" comes with a catch. Readers can *only* view it online. No downloading. Not surprisingly, readers have not been amused. As a business model, the strategy failed.
As a writer, I depend on the income from selling my stories. It's not so much about profit as survival.
Making your work available for free can be a great marketing tool, even if it's an unknown quantity. My free read with The Wild Rose Press, Cinderella Dreams (are tough to shake) has garnered some nice praise, though I have no idea how many people actually read it.
I've also linked all the flash and short stories published with web zines to my web site; though these tend to receive zero feedback, unfortunately. Still, they're out there, please read them and if you enjoy them, I'd love to hear from you.
They're free. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Welcome special guest author Margaret West!

Cate: Please welcome author Margaret West. Margaret, will you please share a short bio with us?
Margaret: Born in Croydon, England in 1962, Margaret West was raised with her four older siblings by their mother, a social worker and father, a painter/decorator. Being energetic and animated meant her life in school was extremely interesting and she has fond memories of family holidays to the English coast with her three brothers and sister. Although her father is no longer alive, Margaret still feels he watches over her. Still supported by her mother and the rest of her family, Margaret’s drive to succeed has been a force of strength throughout her life.

Cate: Please tell us about Two Faces One Life and where it's available.
Margaret: Two Faces One Life is a coffee time break short story. It is about two people with quite different disabilities who come together, quite by chance, and forge a bond. It will melt even the hardest heart. You can buy it in print or e-book from www.eternalpress.ca



My new release, The Heart of a Warrior, is very dear to my heart. It took me two years to write and a month to edit out 200 pages lol It is due out on July 7, 2009, and can be bought from www.eternalpress.ca.

Cate: Editing the book of your heart can be heart-wrenching!
At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Margaret: I started writing when I worked for the makers of the James Bond movies. Dick Maibum, a script writer for them, told me the hardest part of writing a script is the first page. That also applied to writing a novel. I did the first page in my lunch break and wrote the whole novel within two months. It had over a thousand pages and has been edited to death over 20 years. Lol I am thinking of getting it published, after all, there is only so much editing you can do to one book!!!!
My first publication was The Crystal Pendulum. A paranormal romance. I enjoyed writing it as it encompassed my spiritual work as well. I sent it off just the once to a publisher and forgot all about it. Then one evening I was dishing up dinner and mashing the potatoes, when my daughter gave me the phone and said a lady with a funny accent wanted me. With the phone propped on my shoulder I continued to mash until I heard editor of… from America…and publish my novel….in my shock the phone fell into the hot potato and I had to take the rest of the call with hot potato burning my ear. My first publication was born.

Cate: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Margaret: The only novel writer is my sister-in-law. She writes Paranormal erotica and can be found at www.christinaphillips.com.

Cate: Describe your writing in three words.
Margaret: Funny, dark, inspirational.

Cate: Do you have a writing routine?
Margaret: No, I wish I did. If I have a free moment I write. It is as simple as that.

Cate: How many hours a day do you write?
Margaret: On my day off from work I write for about 8 hours, the rest of the time it is an hour here and there.

Cate: How do you pick the character’s names?
Margaret: They just come into my head. I read a lot of various genres. I watch a lot of movies, my mind is a full of useless information lol But it helps me out occasionally.

Cate: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Margaret: Challenging… I would say devising the plot of the story. I have to think it all through before I write so I have a basic idea of what will happen. I can’t just start a story with no basic foundation. The easiest…making the characters grow and come to life. I never have a problem with making them three dimensional.
Cate: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Margaret: Seeing my book on the shelves in a shop. I can’t help smiling whenever I see them. I think yep, you done good girlie!! lol

Cate: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Margaret: Yes, sometimes. If I am really deeply into the story, my characters come to life in my dreams and I visualize various scenarios for scenes in the book. I used to think everyone did that, but now I know they don’t!!

Cate: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Margaret: It was more than a comment really. Here is a short paragraph from a reviewer of one of my novels. I thought it was lovely and always stuck in my mind.
“It is this kind of book that opens new doorways of understanding and empowers others to step out of their hiding and put away the fear of being ridiculed because these authors have paved that path for all to follow. Each author needs to be thanked for being such brave souls and sharing their spiritual truths. This is a book everyone needs to read. It is a book destined to be known, recommended and loved by all who read it now and for many years to come.”

Cate: That’s a lovely tribute.
Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Margaret: I love Mimi Rogers books. They are so funny and full of charm and intrigue. I love all historical, although Catherine Cookson is my favorite, followed by Joanna Trollope.

Cate: What's next for you?
Margaret: I have three novels in the works and a dark paranormal I would love to finish one day. I produce/record my own Meditation CD’s so I am working on that at the moment. Then it will be back to writing.

Cate: You’re a busy woman!
Where can readers find you on the web?
Margaret: My web site is www.margaret-west.com. Come and visit; it is full of diverse things. Leave a comment, respond to the blog on there. I love hearing from people.

Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Margaret: I write a lot of spiritual romances, where the spirit world is forever present, sometimes interfering and sometimes offering guidance. I’d like to know other peoples view on this sort of writing. What attracts them to it? What would they like to ask someone in the spirit world if they got the chance?

Intriguing! Can’t wait to read the responses. Thanks again for being my guest today, Margaret! Best of luck with your releases.

The Heart of a Warrior: When Belinda arrives fresh from England, at her father’s store on the edge of a Navajo reservation, she is faced with not only the news her father is ill in hospital, but the store is being run by Jez Lansdowne, a man she hates and distrusts. Until she can find out why Jez is suddenly her father’s new partner, Belinda is forced to live in Chief Yuma’s storage hut, next to the store.
Yuma is annoyed the fiery English woman is living on his land, as the Res is soon closing to outsiders. They clash, but a deeper emotion grows into a love that makes Yuma question his culture and traditions.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Release day for The Lure of the Vine!

Today Freya's Bower releases The Lure of the Vine!

Based on the legends of the Greek god Dionysus, God of the Vine - or wine, technically. As an immortal, he'd still be around today, plying his wares. Legend has it that he was both friend and foe to people. His wine could make them feel like a god, too - powerful, happy, all-fulfilled. Or Dionysus could destroy them with wine.

His followers, the Maenads, likewise could be singing and dancing in the forest one moment and the next, ripping unsuspecting people to bloody shreds. True to the double-sided nature of wine, apparently, although humans tend to do these things metaphorically rather than literally.

Unlike other gods, Dionysus loved his mortal wife, Ariadne, faithfully. Her death devastated him and he mourned for centuries.

The Lure of the Vine intertwines these legends in a tale of present day. I hope you'll read it and let me know what you think!



Here's an excerpt:

On the wall opposite his bed hung a portrait. The likeness stunned her. “Oh my God. How did you…?” When could he have had a portrait made of her?
“She’s my wife.” He sat on the bed and stared at the painting, his eyes like glass. “Ariadne.”
“Your wife?” She walked closer, the portrait almost breathing, as though she were looking in the mirror. “It’s amazing.”
“When I saw you, it was as if….” He lay back on the bed, laid his forearm across his eyes.
“Oh, Dion.” She sat next to him. Ariadne. She’d heard that name before.
“I miss her so terribly.” Pain cracked his voice.
“I’m sorry. If I had known….” She couldn’t finish–what? She wouldn’t have come here?
He sat up and held her shoulders. “Ariadne. My princess.” His voice held an unfamiliar gruffness.
“No. I’m Clio.” She pushed at his arms.
With one swift movement, he twisted her beneath him. “The Fates brought you back to me.”
The Fates. Ariadne. Dion…. Her mother had told her bedtime tales when she was growing up. The realization hit her. “Dionysus.” The God of the Vine.
It couldn’t be, didn’t make sense.
Hearing his true name, his face alighted with happiness. His mouth sought hers. A life force flowed from the portrait through Clio’s veins, overwhelmed her senses, as if she’d drunk a case of his wine. His wet lips traveled down her neck. The strap of her bathing suit fell away, revealing her breast. He suckled and nibbled at her. His fingers slid between her legs, his tongue tracing her ribs, then her hips.
His tongue licked and teased. With a groan, she arched her back, inviting more, but wanting nothing of him. A swirl of thoughts stormed through her mind, fighting for dominance. Her writhing body screamed for completion. She clutched his hair. Her breaths came hard and fast, a wave of passion cresting within her.
He slid his leg across hers, then hovered above her. “You are my queen again.”
His words sobered her. Two desperate needs clashed within her, to reunite with a husband for whom yearning had surpassed sanity, and to escape, to find a husband she loved more than anything. Her words from her wedding night returned to her: I will do anything for you.



Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I'm all a-Twitter now

Okay, I've avoided it as long as I could. Twitter seemed like another nightmare time vacuum, when I'm in the middle of a new contemporary novel that's been niggling at my brain for a month. If I don't make time to write it, it will implode my brain. But, when Joanna D'Angelo announced she was having a Romance Authors Day on Twitter, I had to make the leap.
So, if you want to follow me, I'm at http://twitter.com/CateMasters. Although frankly, if I lead you into a black hole in the universe, I can't be held responsible. I have no idea how to use it, although (I think) I set it up to be able to tweet from my cell. Theoretical, at this point, since I haven't tested it.
But more about Joanna's cool Twitter day. If you're a romance writer and haven't signed up for Twitter yet, you may want to do so now. You'll also want to follow Joanna, and join her Love Romance Novels group on Facebook. She's also the dynamo behind our popculturedivas blog, where I post once a month, along with brilliant writers, filmmakers and others.

Here's the info on the Aug. 5 Twitter chat day:

From two brilliant minds: Kim Castillo and Joanna D’Angelo comes a great idea in online social networking for the romance world.

Hey romance authors! So, you’re online are you? You have a web site, a blog and maybe even a facebook page. (We hope you have a facebook page tsk tsk!) We applaud you for that. But if you’re not on twitter then baby you better be! Twitter is a great social networking tool that enables writers to grow their contacts, writing peers and most importantly – fan base. And guess what – every time you make a change to your web site, blog or facebook page you can write a blurb on twitter and then lots and lots of people will know about it. And they’ll tell their friends and so on and so on....

But the most important reason for you to join twitter is because Kim Castillo and I are planning a really amazing day of twittering fun for fans to chat with authors!

Read on....

Taking our cue from the wonderful #askagent chat days on twitter we’re going to be running a chat day with lots and lots of terrific romance writers!

THE NAME OF THE CHAT DAY: #askromancewriter

THE DAY: Wednesday Aug. 5th
Start time: when the clock strikes midnight on Aug. 5th
End time: when the clock strikes midnight on Thurs. Aug. 6th.

THE PLACE: Twitter

THE RULES:
Every question/query you make you must start or end with #askromancewriter so it can be tracked and searched by everyone participating. That means so we can follow along with what everyone is chatting about!
And guess what – the more people involved the better. We might even become a “trending topic” on twitter. If you don’t know what that means now you will - ‘cause it’s very cool!

So between now and Aug. 5th – we’re encouraging you to join twitter – set up your account and get familiar with twitter. It’s a nice complement to facebook and a great way to connect with fellow writers and fans. You can even download an application (I think it’s on facebook) that will automatically update your facebook status from twitter. So they work well hand in hand.

If you’re a fan you can ask your favourite author a question simply by typing @theirnamehere
And of course everything has to be under 140 characters (that’s a challenge for us!) but you can continue in a follow up (I do that all the time! - no shame in that – as long as we keep using the hashtag moniker #askromancewriter – which counts as characters BTW).

This is twitter so u can use abbreviations/numbers whatever it takes to get it all in!

Here’s an example:
@EloisaJames Luv Desperate Duchesses! R u going 2 write about DD kids in future books? I.e. Jem and Harriet’s daughter #askromancewriter

Or

@Lisa Kleypas How long did it take u 2 hit NYT best seller list? Advice on how 2 get there? #askromancewriter

If you’re an aspiring writer you can ask any question you’d like of a specific author by doing the above

Or feel free to ask general questions and include #askromancewriter and one or more authors will answer. (I did that on #askagent day and I got many wonderful and informative answers to my queries).

But here’s the kicker – because it’s a chat the rest of us have to be able to read these Qs and As as well so at the end of your Q or A you must include #askromancewriter so the rest of us can use it as a search term to find out what’s being chatted about.

If you sign up now and try it out with other topics you’ll see what I mean – One of the biggest trending topics lately is sadly Michael Jackson or MJ so if you type in those words under SEARCH then you’ll see what all the comments are that people have been making regarding Michael Jackson.

As you get to know twitter you can do other cool things like post pictures (twitpics) and articles (using short urls)

Many of you access twitter through other applications such as tweetdeck and you can use that too for the chat as long as you continue to use the #askromancewriter moniker

WHY HAVE A CHAT DAY ON TWITTER?

We thought it would be a great idea to create a way for fans to be able to connect with as many of their favourite authors all at once (and not have to get out of your PJs **g*) just like a fan convention but this one will be online. It will also help foster the wonderful positive spirit in the romance community - between writers and their fans.

We’re signing up authors who will be participating in #askromancewriter day on twitter: If you’re an author – make sure you’re on this list! :D You can e-mail either Kim or myself if you want to take part.

Oh and when you join twitter – do follow us and we’ll follow you – it’s a wonderful thing!

http://twitter.com/JoannaDangelo
http://twitter.com/KimSCastillo


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Celebrating the 4th with Bruce, my Jersey boy

Get past the foreign-language intro, and this 12-string acoustic version of Born in the USA rocks (in a bluesy, soulful kind of way). Happy Independence Day, America.