Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Welcome special guest author Mona Risk!

Today, we're in for a treat. Settle back, all you armchair travelers, and enjoy a tour of the exotic Far East with guest Mona Risk!

My friends call me the World Traveler. Have you ever thought about far away countries and imagined what living in China or Argentina or Egypt look like?

I often did and when I visited some of these countries I realized that reality is often different from my preconceived ideas.

A year ago, I visited China. Flying to Beijing was easier than coming back, maybe because we were so enthusiastic and maybe because I slept most of the time during the three different flights we took to reach Beijing.

I never imagined Beijing or Shanghai to boast so many high rises, to be so modern, so clean and well organized. Picture Manhattan or downtown Chicago, definitely less Chinatown-like than San Francisco's Chinatown. Shanghai is really fabulous and has the most modern high-rises I ever saw in my life.


In Beijing, we visited the Forbidden City: fabulous. The Summer Palace and the Great Wall: actually it's a great staircase, each step one to two foot high. I reached the first tower, about three-story high, and gave up. My husband reached the second tower, something like: eight-stories high. You can keep going around all of China like that.







Taiwan and Okinawa (a Japanese Island) were quite interesting, fun and a little bit boring after the above. Taiwan has a lot of temples. We visited a big one where people were praying and offering food and flowers to the goddess of fertility, goddess of success for students, goddess of matchmaking, etc... Taiwan also has Building 101, supposed to be the tallest in the world.



Hong Kong was my kind of place, a shoppers' paradise. As beautiful as we remembered it from twenty years ago, but much more busy, crowded, modern, expensive.



So far, we had a blast. But then, I learned that my mother was in the hospital, although not in a life-threatening situation and the mood changed.

We spent two days in Vietnam. I didn't like it at all, especially Saigon. Too dirty, dusty, crowded, poor. Merchants grabbing your arm, pushing their products under your nose. The market was a horrible experience. We could hardly move between a human sea. Was it my anxiety about my mother’s health that shadowed my appreciation of new place?




We had two more stops in Singapore, a modern, very clean place, where the weather was so stormy we hardly saw anything. And finally, Bangkok where I had one of the most horrible experience of my life.

In the bus taking us to the hotel, a man collapsed with a heart attack in the row just behind me. While waiting for an ambulance that arrived after half an hour, three volunteers did CPR on him, to no avail. After the doctor checked his pulse, we evacuated to a different bus while the ambulance transported the man and his wife to a hospital. An hour later, I heard he never recovered. In Bangkok, I didn’t feel like leaving the hotel and kept thinking about our traveling companions who enjoyed a wonderful trip and then…

How often have we started a project with a bucket-load of enthusiasm and fun until something unexpected interrupted our happy experience? An illness, a loss, a fall, for us writers a rejection letter, a computer’s crash.

Isn’t life strange? Have you ever experienced that uneasy feeling that you have to pay for everything in life?

Mona Risk writes romantic suspense for Cerridwen Press: To Love A Hero and French Peril; and medical romances for The Wild Rose Press: Babies in the Bargain and Rx for Trust. All her books are available at Amazon.com
www.monarisk.com
www.monarisk.blogspot.com




Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Support a worthy cause

I am reprinting this for my niece, Kate Strouse, whose work with deaf students is so very inspiring. Please consider contributing to her very worthy cause.

Dear family and friends,

On Sunday, November 22nd, I will be taking on the challenge of running 26.2 miles at The Philadelphia Marathon. As you all know, this is my 3rd year volunteering with Students Run Philly Style, a non-profit organization that is working hard at tackling childhood obesity, low graduation rates & youth violence with a unique combination of long distance running & mentorship. Youth in this program train alongside adult mentors for nine months in order to complete a marathon or half marathon. At near-close of my 3rd year with Students Run, I am amazed at the change in so many of the students (and coaches!) that I've been running with. I can credit Students Run with a great amount of personal growth as well.

The statistics for youth in Philadelphia are alarming. Over 50 percent of children are obese or at risk for becoming so and almost half of high school students do not graduate in four years. I truly believe in what Students Run is doing to provide a brighter future for Philadelphia’s youth. I hope you will join me in supporting their mission.

I have set a personal goal to raise $1,000 toward this effort. I know that my friends and family are not wealthy people economically, but I do know that they are rich in spirit. I am hoping many small donations will help me reach my goal. A donation of $1 per mile ($26.20) is suggested, but whatever you can do to contribute matters…it all adds up! Your support will help go directly to helping Students Run Philly Style provide services for more youth.

You may make a tax deductible donation online at my fundraising page. I will continue to accept donations until the day of the race.

Thank you so much for your endless support.
With much gratitude and much love,
Kate

Check out Kate's Facebook event page.
I'm so proud of you, Kate!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Welcome special guest author Barbara Edwards!

Cate: Please welcome Barbara Edwards. Barbara, will you please share a short bio with us?
I’m a native New Englander. I was a “Jill of All Trades” from crossing guard to sales manager before graduating from the University of Hartford with a Master’s degree in Public Administration. I write poetry for myself and novels when I need to tell a longer tale. I’m fascinated by the past so naturally turned to writing historical romance. The dark stories evolve from nightmares. The romance comes from my belief in people’s basic goodness and longing for love.
I lived in Florida for several years and is past president of the Central Florida Romance Writers. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America.
When I returned to Connecticut, I founded the Charter Oak Romance Writers, a Chapter of Romance Writers of America, along with several close friends.
I’m married to a retired police sergeant. We share an interest in target shooting and camping. An avid Civil War re-enactor, I travel the eastern states to participate in events. I love visiting museums, galleries and battle sites, gathering information for my stories.
I taught Romance Writing at Manchester Community college for three years.
I’m fond of gardening and am growing antique roses with limited success.
Most of my exercise is when my Belgian Shepherd demands a walk.

Cate: I love to write poetry too. I’m glad your nightmares bring something positive! Ancient Awakening looks fantastic. Tell us about it and where it's available.

Barbara: In ANCIENT AWAKENING, Police Officer ‘Mel’ Petersen investigates a death only she believes is murder. By disobeying direct orders from the Rhodes End Chief, she risks her career to follow clues that twist in circles to her backyard and lead the killer to her.
Her neighbor Stephen Zoriak is a prime suspect. Steve worked for a major pharmaceutical company where he discovers a bio-weapon so dangerous he destroys the research. He is exposed to a dangerous organism. He suspects he is the killer and agrees to help her find the truth.
Another corpse is discovered. Mel is injured confronting the suspect. Mel’s friends band together to hunt the killer.
In the course of their investigation Mel and Steve find the real killer and a love that defies death.

Cate: Manic Readers gave Shadow on the Moon a wonderful review! Congrats on that!
Is Ancient Awakening along the same vein as Shadow on the Moon?
Barbara: Ancient Awakening was released under the old title by a publisher that went under two weeks later. A crisis that resulted in a much better editor and release by The Wild Rose Press.

Cate: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Barbara: I started writing in middle school with poems and essays that got thrown away after I finished. My first book was published when we were sharing our rejection stories on line. An editor dropped in and sent me an e mail asking for my manuscript. She said it sounded interesting. A week later, I got the call.

Cate: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Barbara: My father always wanted to write short stories and my Uncle John wrote a genealogy of our family.

Cate: Describe your writing in three words.
Barbara: Dark, mysterious, sensuous.

Cate: Do you have a writing routine?
Barbara: I really try to write daily. Mornings are my most prolific times since I dream about my stories and characters and they are fresh in my mind. I have learned that I can write anytime or place since my husband and I love to travel. I use an Alphasmart and the miles fly by.

Cate: How many hours a day do you write?
Barbara: Between three and five. Some days are better then others and I don’t notice how much time has passed.

Cate: How do you pick the character’s names?
Barbara: Now you caught me. I have a hard time finding the perfect name for my heroines, but my heros are usually named for one of my sons. Those are my favorite names in the world.

Cate: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Barbara: If I say everything, will you yell at me? Everyday I learn more about writing and try to incorporate what I know into my work. Characters, plot, dialogue, background are all areas I’ve struggled with. The easiest? When it is flowing, then I ride the tide as far as it goes.

Cate: *grins* No, I wouldn’t yell. I understand completely.
What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Barbara: When someone says they loved my story.

Cate: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Barbara: The characters are alive to me. I would recognize them if I passed them on the street. They talk to me, surprise me and often take over the story.
Most of the time I dream the beginning and end of my story. When I wake, I write it down immediately. Then it goes in a file until what I’m working on is finished.

Cate: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Barbara: One reader said she recognized the place. It was one I made-up.

Cate: That’s wonderful - your writing must have convinced her she’d been there!
Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Barbara: I love Jayne Anne Krentz, J.D. Robb, Barbara Michaels, Georgette Heyer to name a few. I don’t have time to read when I’m finishing a manuscript, but between works I drive my librarian crazy.

Cate: What's next for you?
Barbara: I’m working on the second book set in Rhodes End, the location of Ancient Awakening.

Cate: Very cool! Where can readers find you on the web?
Barbara: www.barbaraedwards.net and www.barbaraedwards.net/blog/blog.asp

Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Barbara: Just to check out my website and leave a comment on the blog.

Readers, here’s an excerpt from Ancient Awakenings to tease your interest:
Steve’s fingers clawed through his rumpled hair as he absently adjusted the focus on his microscope. He needed another trim badly. His rapidly growing hair was more than an irritation. Along with his thickened nails, it was another symptom.
Frustrated when his vision remained blurred he closed his eyes. He had to take a break. He hadn’t slept since early yesterday morning. His ability to concentrate on the task at hand was keeping him sane, but his thoughts twisted with the implications of the discovery at the dump.
Swallowing a mouthful of the artificial protein drink he’d concocted when nothing else would settle in his stomach, he stared at the fresh slide sample.
What he’d seen of the bloodless corpse had poised him on the edge of panic. He couldn’t hesitate any longer. He pressed the heels of his hands against his eyelids to blot out the memory of Mel concentrating on the puzzle of the dead man, her changeable hazel eyes green with curiosity.
He didn’t want to think about Mel. The way she always moved like those too thin, sensuous women on the covers of glamour magazines, with slim hips, long legs and no breasts had his groin tightening. The longing to taste her lips added to his misery. He could smell her scent on the breeze.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Never underestimate the power of positive thinking!

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio:

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:"

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. "Agree to disagree".
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a "secret," you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take "no" for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words "In five years, will this matter?"
26. Always choose life.
27. Forgive everyone everything.
28. What other people think of you is none of your business.
29. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
31. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
32. Believe in miracles.
33. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
34. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
35. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
36. Your children get only one childhood.
37. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
40. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
41. The best is yet to come.
42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
43. Yield.
44. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

If you're still down, treat yourself to a little Wilco love!




Friday, September 25, 2009

Welcome special guest author C.L. Talmadge!


Cate: Please welcome C.L. Talmadge. C.L., will you please share a short bio with us?
C.L.: Under the byline Candace Talmadge, I am a political columnist for The North Star National. My career as a journalist began in 1976. In addition to fictions, I have written thousands of nonfiction articles for newspapers, magazines, and wire services as well as nonfiction about emotional and spiritual healing resolution.

Cate: Tell us about your latest release and where it's available.
C.L.: My latest fiction is Outcast—Green Stone of Healing® Book Four. At present it is available as an e-book (.pdf format) at HealingStone Books (www.healingstonebooks.com). It should be available very shortly (if not already) as a paperback at any online bookseller or by order through bookstores.

Cate: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
C.L.: I always loved to read as soon as I was old enough to do it. I discovered my knack for writing churning out essays for my high school history and English classes in England, where there were no multiple choice exams. I was first published in my college newspaper, doing reviews of books, films, and plays.

Cate: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
C.L.: My older brother is an outstanding artist, and that includes the ability to write. My older sister Karen is also a good writer and a talented pianist, except she’s also good at science, so that has been her career focus. Writing is my sole talent, so that’s why I do it.

Cate: Describe your writing in three words.
C.L.: Alliterative. Concise. Intense.

Cate: Do you have a writing routine?
C.L.: I get up and sit in front of my computer. I start to write. I worked for decades on serious multiple daily journalism deadlines, which honed my writing discipline.

Cate: How do you pick the character’s names?
C.L.: They tell me their names. Many of them are quite insistent that I use a certain name. If they don’t tell me, I simply use naming conventions in their language.

Cate: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
C.L.: The most challenging aspect of writing fiction for me is conveying the depth of my characters’ emotions. Words seem so inadequate for that task. The easiest is plotting. The story I am chronicling has already happened, so I am left to pick and choose what events to include in my novels and what to leave out.

Cate: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
C.L.: I feel as though I am honoring a sacred promise I made my characters to tell their story, so that they would be forgotten no longer. They live again in the pages of my novels and in the minds and hearts of my readers.

Cate: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
C.L.: The characters lived on their own, in what we might call past lives. Yes, they haunt my dreams and occupy my waking hours, too. We’re all very familiar with each other. Sometimes this is positive; other instances, not so much.

Cate: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
C.L.: Many readers have said they find the books hard to put down. That isn’t just interesting to me; it’s music to my ears.

Cate: Every author's dream comment!
Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
C.L.: I read a great deal of nonfiction for my work as a political columnist. Right now I am devouring JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters. My favorite authors include Jane Austen, Lois McMaster Bujold, Frank Herbert, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Cate: What impact do electronic readers create on the bottom line for authors? Or in people/the environment in general?
C.L.: The full impact of electronic readers on authors, readers, and the environment is yet to be seen. Looking back at the history of the automobile, I believe we are in the equivalent of the horseless carriage stage when it comes to e-readers. But the pace of change and innovation will, of course, be far more rapid. Fasten your seatbelts and hang onto your hats! It’s going to be a really wild ride.

Cate: I agree, publishing has only made the first steps toward a long evolutionary process.
What's next for you?
C.L.: More political columns. Another installment of the Green Stone of Healing® saga. I am on Chapter Sixteen of Book Five. Further down the road, more fiction related to Azgard, the setting for the stone series.

Cate: Where can you be found on the web?
C.L.: The series website: www.greenstoneofhealing.com
My blog: www.healingstonebooks.com/stonescribe
My political columns: http://www.northstarnational.com/category/candacetalmadge/

Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
C.L.: Yes. Please comment! I am giving away an autographed set of the first four novels in my series to one person who leaves an outstanding comment or comments on any of the blogs in my tour. Speak up! Let’s have a discussion. Am I crazy because I believe my fiction is straight out of my own and other’s past lives?
Thanks also, Cate, for including your blog in my tour. I so much appreciate it.

Cate: It's been a pleasure having you here, C.L.! Best of luck to you.

The Green Stone of Healing
The series features four generations of strong-willed female characters who inherit a mysterious green gem ultimately revealed to mend broken bones and broken hearts, protect against missiles, and render its wearers undetectable.
For more information about each book, please visit www.greenstoneofhealing.com



Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hawaiian Beach Party tonight, 8-10 pm

Break out your coconut bras and grass skirts! Loosen up those hips for dancing in the sand! Tonight, I'm having a Hawaiian Beach Party at Coffee Time Romance 8 - 10pm EST on the Chatters E-loop.

I'll be giving away a PDF copy of Going with Gravity, so you won't want to miss it!

Mistress Bella Reviews gave Going with Gravity its highest rating of 5 smacks, and said: "Wow! Talk about a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. I was so captured by these characters and this plot. I had to know what was going to happen next. I had to keep reading until I found out the fate of these two characters. Could all really be forgiven and forgotten? Ms. Masters has given us another masterpiece. She has given us another story to stay up way past our bedtime to read. Never read a Cate Masters book? What’s wrong with you? You are missing out on a great author who writes such romantic tales that really touch your soul."

The Romance Studio rated this ebook as 4.5 books, and said: "Cate Masters took this plot and worked it into a great work even though it was not a long book. This story covered so much territory and was so compelling I did not want to put it down. The actions taken by the couple, the employers, and the tabloid photographers were so believable. It was as if I was there watching the story unfold. The conflict was great. The sexual encounters were sizzling and the ending was unexpected. There were moments of poignant emotional conflict. I liked this book and would recommend it to everyone."

Long and Short Reviews' 4.5 book rating said: "Going with Gravity is a condensed feel-good romance where the feelings and emotions of the hero and heroine touch you with their believability. Wes, the hero, is so darned sexy, I wanted to take him home. I’m not talking about his finesse with the spicy part of loving; it’s his class, style and solidness of character. Wes struck a chord with me that makes him a keeper."

So come to Coffee Time Romance tonight! I'll light the torches and open up the tiki bar.

To get you in a Hawaiian mood, here's the trailer:




Monday, September 21, 2009

Wilderness Girl trailer needs your vote!

Starting today, the book trailer for Wilderness Girl is up for video of the month at YouGottaReadReviews. I would so appreciate your vote! Mine is Entry #4.
Many of the photos in this video I took myself. I'm lucky to live in a scenic area.
Michael Eli of Soul Custody, a band from my hometown of Lambertville, NJ, provided the gorgeous song Angel's Lullabye. I wish I could have used the entire song. Sometimes I'll play the trailer just to listen to it, it's so beautiful. Thanks again, Michael!



Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wilderness Girl garners top rating in first review!

Wow! You Gotta Read Reviews gave Wilderness Girl a rating of You Gotta Read, its highest!

Here's what Jennifer, the reviewer, had to say:
"I loved this story for one main reason- it's why I love romances. The story was so fun. It was also filled with hot and steamy sex scenes, and the figuring out how this relationship will work stuff. I giggled over the start of the book when Dana bumps into Hank in the camping section. It still makes me laugh and blush when I think about it. The characters have their moments of making the relationship work, but that just leads to great making up in so many ways. I had almost hoped Dana would run into her ex somewhere in the story with Hank with her. I always think I like longer books, but the length on this one was just right. Enough to read in one sitting, but filled with everything I needed or wanted to know. Ms. Masters can write a story filled with all the ingredients for a good erotic, romance in my book."

I'm especially grateful because this was my first attempt at an erotic romance, but it's always great when someone loves reading my story as much as I loved writing it.
Thanks Jennifer!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Having a day like a bad country song

Did you ever have one of those days? Just when you think life's thrown everything at you and can't possibly think up any more terrible things... it gets worse. After my hubby's heart attack a few weeks ago, he came down with a terrible cold. I started feeling awful too. But I think I've cried all the toxins out of my system.
Yesterday, I came home from work, patted my dog Benji on the head, teased him about the Praying Mantis on the other side of the sliding glass door and got him excited before I let him out. Usually, Benji runs around the yard, doing his business, patrolling for errant squirrels, and checking on the pond goldfish to be sure they're not doing anything out of line. Then he'll walk the exact border of our yard to secure the perimeter. He's very fastidious about this.
I put the tea kettle on and through the kitchen window, heard him cough. Sometimes when he sleeps late, things get backed up and he does this.
After a few more minutes, I went outside. It's not like him to stay out for too long when we're all inside. He's very much a people dog. A cuddler. When we first got him, we swore we'd stick to the rule we had with our old dog: no bed. Of course, that was before we knew how lovable Benji was. He couldn't get close enough. He saw us lying there, and slid one paw on the bed, then wriggled his head up, then the next thing we knew, we were letting not only Benji on the bed but the cat too. (Two extra furry bodies in a bed's nice in the winter, actually. Especially when the wood stove's running low.) Before we knew it, we were urging him to jump up on the bed. He was that great of a dog.
We used to joke that he had the nervous system of his border collie half, and the brains of his lab half. But he was all heart.
Benji could never bear to be alone in the house, either, so we took him with us most of the time. We hated to leave him because we loved to be with him. Such a baby, we teased him. And he almost was. Just like one of the kids.
Which makes it all the more heartbreaking. When I went outside, I found Benji lying down, panting very hard. He wouldn't get up, so I brought his water outside. No response. All his efforts were on breathing. We rushed him to the vet but there was nothing they could do. Apparently Benji had a tumor, and it ruptured, and he was bleeding. As painful as it must have been for him, he never once complained or even whimpered. So the most dreaded of all decisions: end his suffering right away?
My daughters and I spent a few minutes hugging him, telling him how good he was and how much we loved him, and then the vet put him to sleep. It was very peaceful, if horrible.
We brought him home, and now he's resting beneath his favorite squirrel tree. He used to sit there for hours, daring those squirrels to come down. Often, they did - they knew Benji had a good heart and wouldn't hurt them. He just loved the sport of the chase, and I think those squirrels did too. They might miss him as much as us. Almost.
There's a joke that says if you play a country song backward, you get your girl/boyfriend back, and your dog back. If I could, I'd play it backward. At least making this video brought back lots of great memories. He brought us great joy, and I'm grateful. But the greater the joy, the greater the loss. We will miss Benji forever.




Friday, September 18, 2009

Welcome special guest author Kiss Carson!

Cate: Please welcome Kiss Carson. Kiss, will you please share a short bio with us?
Kiss: I live in Queensland, Australia, with my husband and three children. I work part time at the local hospital and write every chance I get. I’ve been writing since a teenager and I’ve always loved reading light paranormal and fantasy. I have two books, Illusions of Destiny and Jewels of the Sun, released through The Wild Rose Press.

Cate: Both intrigue me a great deal. And I love those covers! Tell us about Jewels of the Sun and where it's available.
Kiss: Born on the mysterious island of Ambrosia and whisked away to mainland Australia when only a few days old, Selena Lewis grows up hearing tales of unimaginable treasures and a floating island, trapped in the nineteenth century, which only appear every 25 years.
Now, the island has returned and Selena is determined to prove to the treasure hunting community that the island exists, as does the treasure. Kidnapped and blindfolded, she’s held hostage by virile pirate captain, Saxon Ambrose, who piques her curiosity both sexually and emotionally.
Drawn into the very depths of Ambrosia, Selena finds the Jewels of the Sun, the diamond pillars that allow the island to survive, and the treasure she’s waited all her life to find. However, the Jewels are dying, and so is Ambrosia. Her love for Saxon is the key but is it stronger than her struggle for treasure hunting fame?
In the end, will love conquer all?
Both Jewels of the Sun and Illusions of Destiny are available at The Wild Rose Press print store, or via my website at www.kisscarson.com.au. They are also available on amazon.com and various online bookshops.

Cate: Describe your writing in three words.
Kiss: Three words?? Cate, that’s impossible!! Okay, I’ll give it a go:
(still thinking)
Action packed
Sensual
Optimistic
Phew! That was harder than trying to reduce 85000 words into two paragraphs!

Cate: I knew you could do it! LOL!
Do you have a writing routine?
Kiss: Yes! Every writer should have some sort of routine. With a small family and working, I mainly write at night, Sun-Thur 6.30pm-10pm. I try to keep Fri night and Sat as family time.

Cate: How do you pick the character’s names?
Kiss: I go through a baby name book from front to back. I generally know my characters’ traits, what they look like, their personalities etc and I try to pick a name based on that. I might have several names and I pick the ones that go best together. I also like names that end in A for girls. So far, I’ve got Ianna and Selena and my current works, the heroine’s name is Ella. It’s not something I purposely do. I thought I’d be stuck with boy’s names ending in N (Regan and Saxon) but my newest hero is Luke.

Cate: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Kiss: The most challenging aspect of writing is trying to make a story that people will find interesting. I forever double guess myself and ask myself whether I’d like to read what I’ve written. Most of the time, it’s yes.
The easiest part would be staring at the computer screen wondering where to go, now!

Cate: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Kiss: Definitely the reviews. Knowing that readers enjoy the places, people and stories that I created gives me a real buzz.

Cate: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Kiss: They follow me everywhere! I’m not kidding. I see someone and I think “Gee, that woman looks like Selena.” Ianna and Regan used to talk to me! I listened to their arguments and watched them walk through the house. It’s scary. hehehe

Cate: Where can you be found on the web?
Kiss: www.kisscarson.com.au and www.kisscarson.blogspot.com

Cate: What's next for you?
Kiss: Well, I’m on the final revisions for In the Shadows of Angels and I plan to submit late September. Then, I’ll work out the paranormal I’m struggling with and submit that in January.

Oo, those sound intriguing too! Best of luck with them - be sure to keep us updated. Thanks for being my guest today, Kiss!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Donning my tiara today at Popculturedivas


Come on over to Popculturedivas to weigh in about what kind of movie plots grab you and don't let go. I'm excited about James Cameron's upcoming release of Avatar - how about you?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New cover for Reflections short

Just received the cover for Reflections, my short dark fantasy due out from Shadowfire Press on Oct. 2. Just in time for Halloween!

At Lissa’s Halloween party, all hell breaks loose – literally.

Here's the story excerpt:
When Lissa removed the pan of popcorn shrimp from the oven, the tiny forms reminded her of mangled body parts, twisted and mutilated. She scraped the image from her mind as she transferred the shrimp onto a serving platter. Such thoughts had plagued her since Selena had set her grandmother’s old crystal ball on the dining room credenza and hung the matching mirror above it.
“Did you remember the cocktail sauce?” Lissa called to her roommate, who was still fussing with her costume in the bathroom.
“It’s in the bag on the counter.” Selena’s voice carried across the living room like a disembodied spirit.
A chill passed over Lissa. She had to stop this, it was ridiculous. She shook off the chill as she carried the platter to the table, but halted in fear. Out of the corner of her eye, dark shapes moved inside the mirror, escaped its confines, then soared to the ceiling. When she gasped and whirled to face it, the mirror was flat, static. The only image in it was hers.
That scared her more than anything.
She wasn’t even ready, and people would be showing up soon.

Monday, September 14, 2009

My TBR list grows and grows

As a reader, I’m really excited that some of my favorite authors have new releases.
First, Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, discussed her very deliberate writing process for her new book, Her Fearful Symmetry with Borders. Interesting stuff.

Lorrie Moore, better known for her short stories, released the novel A Gate at the Stairs which deals with the post-9/11 world. I am a huge fan of her short stories and am very excited to see her release a full-length novel. Ms. Moore is a magician of words.

Richard Russo, another extraordinary writer, has several I need to catch up on, but most recently, That Old Cape Magic. He talked with the New York Times about converting his novels to screenplays for movies.

E.L. Doctorow’s release, Homer and Langley, fascinates me because it’s based on the true story of two brothers—one blind and one insane--living in New York. The New York Times Book Review’s Sam Tanenhaus interviewed E.L. about the release, and his writing process.

I’ve also purchased a few of my fellow authors’ works and have been lucky enough to win a few others, but so far haven’t had the chance to read them because I've been so focused on my own multiple writings. I recently submitted final edits for Design for Life, the Sweetheart Rose story for The Wild Rose Press’ Flower Basket series. A contemporary novel, which I’m very excited about, is going through the critique process, and I have yet to start revisions on a historical novella that I’m also very excited about. And, as always, about ten unfinished stories are clamoring for attention. A good problem to have.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Amazing review for Going with Gravity!

Mistress Bella's review of Going with Gravity literally took my breath away. She rated it 5 smacks - Awesome books, books you can't live without:

"Wow! Talk about a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. I was so captured by these characters and this plot. I had to know what was going to happen next. I had to keep reading until I found out the fate of these two characters. Could all really be forgiven and forgotten? Ms. Masters has given us another masterpiece. She has given us another story to stay up way past our bedtime to read. Never read a Cate Masters book? What’s wrong with you? You are missing out on a great author who writes such romantic tales that really touch your soul."

That means so much to me, Mistress Bella! Thank you.

I'll be giving away a PDF of Going with Gravity on Sept. 23! Come chat with me at Coffee Time Romance from 8 to 10 pm EST on their Chatters E-loop.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday sign-off at Whipped Cream

Read today's essay at Whipped Cream to learn why romance is more relevant now than ever.
Respond to today’s question for a chance to win a PDF of Wilderness Girl!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday Essay: Busting Writer's Block

Don't let writer's block paralyze you! Read today's essay at Whipped Cream to learn why it's an important tool for writers.
Respond to today’s question for a chance to win a PDF of Wilderness Girl!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 3 Essay: Making Characters Come Alive

Pop on over to Whipped Cream Reviews to read about the tricks I use to tame unruly characters. Respond to today’s question for a chance to win a PDF of Wilderness Girl!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wilderness Girl release day!

Freya's Bower releases Wilderness Girl today! I'm so jazzed. Although an erotic romance, at the same time it's a very sweet love story.



My author spotlight at Whipped Cream continues with today's essay on giving your muse a workout. You can win a copy of Wilderness Girl if you answer the posted question.

Here's an excerpt from Wilderness Girl:
Dana scanned the stacks of camping gear piled on the shelves. People must be crazy to pay full price for this junk. But planning this trip had been the first time Sean had paid attention to her like he used to. He’d been so distracted these last two months. Working late, even going missing a couple of nights, leaving her waiting for calls that never came. When she asked later, explanations stumbled out in a short, stammered rush that left many of her questions unanswered. If going camping helped him focus on their relationship, well, she’d do whatever was needed.
A deep voice behind her reached inside her thoughts. “Can I help you with anything?”
She grinned. Sean must have circled back around. He liked it from behind, and lately doggy-style was their only position. She backed the cart up until she felt his heat–it seemed more intense than usual. Maybe tonight he would relax a little. He’d been so tense lately.
“Um, yeah, I might need a little help.” She reached behind and ran her hand up his thigh. Maybe she’d give him a taste of what, in particular, she had in mind. He kept pestering her to be more sexually adventurous. She slid her fingers to his crotch. Clicking each tooth of the zipper open, his sharp intake of breath made her smile.
The sight of Sean walking between aisles, looking in the opposite direction, made her freeze.
“Oh my God.” Her breath strangled in her throat and she whirled around.
Six feet of tanned muscle, wrapped in a faded black T-shirt and jean shorts loose on his hips. Eyes like wildfire burning in a sun-kissed face. Grinning like a fox.
“Well, don’t stop there. You have my full attention.”

Monday, September 7, 2009

In the spotlight

Whipped Cream is featuring me in their author spotlight. Each day this week, a different essay will appear. Today’s essay is here.
To celebrate tomorrow’s release of Wilderness Girl, my erotic (but very sweet) romance novella, I’m giving away a PDF at the end of the week. So come on over and join the fun!
Or if you just can't wait and want your copy of Wilderness Girl now, you can order it from Freya’s Bower.
You can check out the story trailer.
Here’s the story blurb:
When Dana’s boyfriend drags her to Wilderness Outfitters on a Friday night, she wonders why so many people find The Great Outdoors so great. Until she meets Hank— six feet of tanned muscle, wrapped in a faded black T-shirt and jean shorts loose on his hips. Eyes like wildfire burning in a sun-kissed face. Grinning like a fox.
After her boyfriend dumps her in the parking lot, humiliation becomes gratitude when Hank invites her to his favorite camping spot, and she seizes on the impulse to change her boring life.
A web programmer, Dana’s outdoor experience had consisted of walks to and from her car. Alone on a mountaintop, as she struggles to set up camp, a five-foot snake doesn’t seem a welcome sight: until Hank comes to her rescue.
He initiates her to the pleasures of hiking, campfires, and Harley rides down winding roads. Making love beneath a starry sky, Hank awakens a primal Wilderness Girl in Dana she never knew existed.
Their weekend feels like a fantasy, which proves all too true on their return to civilization. As the daily grind eats into their time together, their romance begins to come untethered.
Will her high-tech lifestyle clash with his low-tech one? Can she manage to recapture the passion of the wilderness in their city existence?
Have a safe and happy Labor Day!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

More great reviews for Picture This!

In its review of Picture This, Romancing the Pubs said in part: “The heroine is intelligent and resilient. The hero is sexy and charming. And the political background made for an exciting source of external conflict.”
And two readers rated Picture This as “Great” on Fictionwise!


Friday, September 4, 2009

Whew! Is it hot in here?

Nope, it's just me! I'm being roasted today at the Author Roast and Toast. Come on over and join the fun! Someone will win an ebook.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Visit me at Paty Jager's blog today

I'm venturing West today to visit with Paty Jager. Come on over and comment - you might just win an ebook! I'm giving away a PDF of Going with Gravity, my contemporary romance.