Monday, February 28, 2011

And the winner is...


Congrats to Sarah Grimm, who won the autographed print copy of Picture This, along with a beaded book thong. Sarah, I'll contact you for your mailing address so I can pop this in the mail to you this week. Hope you enjoy it!

Thanks to everyone who left a comment for yesterday's Six Sentence Sunday. I'm having a great time participating each week. Hope you're enjoying reading my Six too!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Happy 1st birthday, Six Sentence Sunday!

Although I'm a latecomer to Six Sentence Sunday, it's still exciting to help celebrate its first anniversary. It's been a lot of fun to participate, as well as read the other participating authors' entries. I appreciate all your comments. They give me a real boost!

As part of the birthday celebration, I'll give away one autographed print copy of my contemporary, Picture This. The novella's garnered some wonderful reviews, and is a 2011 EPIC finalist too. To be in the running, just leave a comment on this post. I'll announce the winner tomorrow.

Here are six from Picture This:

He bit his lip. “I need to explain. About that night.”
Her heart fell. The night he kissed her – he had to mean that night. The night they had one amazing kiss, then everything fell apart between them.


Be sure to check out more wonderfully talented Six Sentence Sunday participants here, as well as their fab birthday prizes!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rule 1: Always have a backup plan

I was disappointed Thursday that Dead to Rights didn't make the first cut for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Well, sort of disappointed. If I'd made the first cut, it would have meant another round of waiting instead of getting the novel out there in front of a publisher.

So instead, the backup plan kicked in. On Thursday, I sent a query off to a publisher. I had been revising the story since submitting it to Amazon, and like it much better, actually. Admittedly, it had a few kinks in it when I submitted it to ABNA. I rushed to finish it, which is never a good idea, but it was so close to being done, I wanted to give it a shot.

So congrats to all the ABNA finalists, and wishing you the best of luck.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for my sub too! :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Emma Lai in the Author Spotlight

Cate: Please welcome Emma Lai. Emma will you please share a short bio with us?
I like a challenge. First, I entered the male-dominated field of engineering. Then, I expanded my understanding of the world by studying international relations. Next came starting my own consulting business followed shortly by getting pregnant. Finally, my husband dared me to devote myself to writing. (He runs the consulting company now.) 
Writing keeps me sane. The characters demand their stories be told and nag incessantly until I comply. The characters are very insistent about me remaining faithful to their individual adventures. As a result, I write a range of genres and levels of heat.
Cate: Tell us about Twice is Not Enough and where it's available.
Emma: The idea for Twice is Not Enough came to me during one the chats held by the editors of The Wild Rose Press. One of the Scarlet editors mentioned she hadn’t seen enough voyeuristic stories and another said Regencies were hot. I combined the two and Twice was born.
Click here to buy it from The Wild Rose Pres.

Cate: Very cool. Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
After several disastrous engagements, Lady Minerva Peters is an expert at suppressing her own needs. Only in the darkness of night does she give in to her wanton desires with a fantasy lover.
In the middle of a crowded ballroom, she learns her father is not yet ready to let her fade into spinsterhood. Humiliated, she ducks into a dark alcove only to find out she's not alone. Her hiding spot is occupied by a captivating stranger. Before she can escape, the two become voyeurs to another couple’s sexual rendezvous. The atmosphere heats up and so does her body, especially with the tempting offers whispered in her ear. 

Will Minerva deny her needs once again or will she embrace the anonymity of their seclusion and finally explore her basic impulses and the startling attraction to the compelling mystery man?
Cate: So sexy. Can you tell us why we're going to love your hero?
Emma: He knows what he wants and goes after it.
Cate: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Emma: I like to think the voyeuristic library scene makes the story original.
Cate: What's next for you?
Emma: I’m desperately trying to finish a full-length book. Though I’m not sure which one. I have a contemporary erotic and a young adult sci-fi/fantasy in the works. (I know. Opposite ends of the spectrum.)
Cate: What inspired you to draft your first story?
Emma: My husband. He loves to read. So, I wrote him a quick story, which is how His Ship, Her Fantasy, also available from The Wild Rose Press, was born.
Cate: Love that! Do you have a writing routine?
Emma: Write whenever I can. On the days, I’m able to have a routine, I check my email, visit blogs and then settle in to write—music or movie on in the background, coffee or tea at hand.

Cate: Where can readers find you on the web?
Emma:  Website:
Facebook: EmmaLaiWrites
Twitter: @EmmaLaiWrites
Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Emma: What’s the one thing guaranteed to ruin a book for you?
Cate: Readers, Emma is giving away a book to a random commenter... so start commenting. She'll pick a winner on Sunday, February 27th and announce the winner here.
Thanks so much for being my guest Emma!  Best of luck with all your projects.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Confessions of a tech dweeb

Time to come clean. I'm a total tech dweeb. Generally, I manage to get something the way I want it by sheer persistence, clicking on this or that button or link until something changes to my liking.

One site that baffles me is Goodreads. I admit, I have avoided it for months after setting up an account because I just can't figure it out. It looks simple enough, but to my mind, there aren't enough buttons to click on to move or change things. :)  My profile looks very unprofessional because I just can't figure out how to move the boxes. And for some reason, it won't display most of my book covers. There's some arbitrary system there, or else the site's trying to tell me my covers aren't very attractive, lol.

And another confession regards Twitter. My Facebook page is set up to send out tweets, but I am clueless with regard to the in-depth stuff, such as hashtags and actual chatting. I'm terrible at it, so I avoid it. Sorry! If I'm "following" you, it means I would love to but don't know how to, in reality.

After months of frustration, I finally figured out how to get on Networked Blogs. If you are feeling kind, I'd love for you to follow me. :) Just click on Follow this Blog in the box on the top right. Thank you!

But besides not having enough of a left brain to be of practical use, I also have the problem of time. I haven't made much progress writing this year. Life intervened in a big way, as it will. And my stories are calling me. More than calling. They're screaming, all wanting my attention at once. It wouldn't be so bad if only one or two WIPs were in the queue. But there are FOURTEEN.  Yes, fourteen stories are all screaming at me at once. It's sheer pandemonium and cacophony and madness. I have to pick one and block out the others, and just sit down and write.

This week's a big week, writing-wise. Tomorrow, Amazon will announce the titles that made the first cut in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. I'll let you know on Saturday how I made out, and what the backup plan is (if need be!). If you get curious before then, you can check the site for Dead to Rights, my urban fantasy.

Meanwhile, if you have any tips on navigating Goodreads, I'd love to hear them! Alms, alms for the tech dweeb...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Visiting with Marva today

I hope you'll pop over to Marva Dasef's blog to visit me, and leave a comment so I'm not too lonely! Marva's blog is wonderful, and she's been a great friend. I'm talking about going out on a limb to self-publish, and would love to hear from you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dr. Laina Turner-Molaski in the Author Spotlight

Cate: Please welcome Dr. Laina Turner-Molaski, author of Chiczofrenia.
Laina: Ladies admit it. We are all fabulous. But like most things in life being fabulous does require work. If you want to really rock the fabulousness. This thought started when my daughter asked me what I had wanted to be when I grew up back when I was her age (little did she know I’m still not even close to grown up). There were many things I had dreams of being at her age but now when I think of the answer to that question my response it, “the best version of myself.” A while back when I realized that is truly what I wanted to be, “when I grew up” I felt that fabulous was a perfect term to put to that quest. But I want to clarify that I believe we all start out fabulous and just need to continually work on it in order to be the most fabulous I can be. Because while we do all start out with fabulousness it is definitely a skill to increase that level especially in the face of the difficulties life can bring.
Every day I ask myself what I can do today that will make me a better person. It might be something small like have more patience with my children or say no to those McDonalds fries because they won’t help me in my quest to stay healthy. It helps me when I know I am doing something for myself that it going to make me proud of who I am.

Be fabulous with me!

Chiczofrenic is the term for the woman who is purposeful and intentional in how crazy her life may be. The goal with this book is to recognize many women drive themselves crazy, intentionally, by trying to be all they can. I firmly believe we can have it all. A great relationship, being a great mom, keeping a good house (if that’s important to you), being a career woman, following your dreams, working out, eating right, and many more. Women seem to have the knack for how to manage it all and not go crazy. Women seem to always take on more and more…and are successful at it.

Women have tried forever to pretend they fit in the norm even when the norm wasn’t what they wanted. I want women to embrace that more - without caring what anyone thinks. Learn to laugh at your own craziness and be cool at the same time. Be the strong individual you want to be while looking like a million bucks.

Being a woman is difficult and is a constant evolution and journey of self discovery. It’s not always an easy journey and through the process you realize everyone has her own issues. Her own brand of crazy, which is my own kind of normal. Crazy but embracing it.


We all know there’s crazy and there’s holy crap crazy. While we may all have our holy crap crazy moments, hopefully, most of us average out to moderately crazy. I like the phrase crazy is an art form because to me it’s about embracing individuality even if it’s outside the norm and others might think it’s nuts. Like everything else in life, you need to excel at your individuality. You need to feel confident. Look at women like Madonna and Cher. They’ve led colorful lives because they didn’t conform to “normal” by others’ definition. They embrace who they truly are, their “normal.” It has pissed people off or made others question their values or morality, but who cares? Cher and Madonna have the right to be how they want without others judging them. And so do we.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - Surfacing

I was sorry to have to miss Six Sentence Sunday last week, but I had long ago scheduled a guest, so honored that commitment.

Here's a little more from my fun contemporary fantasy, Surfacing. I think this will probably be my last for this novel. Hopefully it will tempt you to read more. :)

Chaz whirled, the rifle at his shoulder. A dull noise sounded – like a door slamming – as the rifle barrel lit for a split second in a burst of light.

AJ fell to his knees, clutching his side. It tingled. When his hand felt wet, he looked down. The red blotch on his shirt matched his palm. He dropped onto the patchy grass.


You can read reviews, the excerpt, view the trailer, and even see who I envisioned in the movie roles for Surfacing here.

Check out more wonderfully talented Six Sentence Sunday participants here. I have to travel out of state for a funeral today but will catch up with everyone afterward.

Be sure to follow next week,when SSS celebrates its first anniversary. There'll be plenty of great giveaways, including one from me, so you won't want to miss it. :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Coming soon!

I was so excited when this showed up in my Google Alerts!
Sometimes it seems like June is so far away, but this year is going so quickly. It will be here before I know it!
I'm excited to see the cover for this one. Rock Bottom's a very fun contemporary romance novel.

Here's the unofficial blurb:

For rocker Jet Trently, success means playing the same platinum-selling hits over and over. Philly rock journalist Billie Prescott thrives on covering the latest releases. When her editor sends her to Malibu to cover Jet’s reality dating show, Rock Bottom, her blog’s success keeps her trapped there. Her life’s at Rock Bottom too, until she hears Jet’s new songs. They touch her heart as his music did when she was 15. When Jet touches her heart as well, will the reality show ruin the real thing?

The synergy between Billie and Jet is like Paul and Linda McCartney, so evident in this photo. Their relationship is more than love, it's every aspect of life. True, lifelong love. :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Linda LaRoque in the Author Spotlight

Cate: Please welcome Linda LaRoque. Linda, will you please share a short bio with us?
Linda: Hi Cate. Thanks for having me here today.
Linda is a retired teacher who loves West Texas, its flora and fauna, and its people. Her stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas and New Mexico. Linda is a member of RWA, her local chapter of HOTRWA, NTRWA and Texas Mountain Trail Writers.

Cate: Tell us about A Way Back and where it's available.
Linda: A Way Back is a time travel set in the 1930s oil fields of Texas. It’s available at Champagne Books,, and

Cate: Time travel’s so cool. Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Linda: In the 1930s oil fields of Texas, a woman from the future finds new purpose as she helps a banker rebuild his financial empire.
Amber Mathis, a Wall Street investment banker, returns to her office after burying her mother. Distraught, tired of the rat race, she's determined to make a career change. In the elevator she falls and rises to find herself in a vintage lift. The date is February 25, 1930, and a man stands on the window ledge in her office ready to jump.
Wellman Hathaway, owner and CEO of Hathaway Bank in New York struggles to pay his depositors half their losses. A woman claiming to be from the future appears in his office and involves him in a scheme that forces them into marriage. With Amber's knowledge of the financial history of the 1930s, they travel to the oil fields of Texas to recoup Wellman's funds.
Two people from different centuries are thrown together to survive a difficult time. Will they find more than A Way Back to prosperity?

Cate: Love that she saves him from such a desperate time. Can you tell us why we're going to love your hero?
Linda: Amber is out of her element and still grieving, yet she embraces the experience of living in the past. A thoroughly modern woman, she resists the inequalities women often faced in their marriages and in the workplace in the 1930s.
Born into wealth, Wellman is mindful of his place in society, honest and hard-working. As he and Amber work to restore his wealth, he learns to live by his heart rather than by society’s code.

Cate: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Linda: Stories abound about the past, but not many touch on the 1930s, a time period graced with many changes. Life was hard, yet people knew how to have a good time without television and the many gadgets we own today. And, for those with money, it was a glamorous era when women wore long gowns to dinner and dancing, and Art Deco was a common art style evident in clothing, art, and architecture.

Cate: Love that period. What's next for you?
Linda: I’m working on a follow-up story to A Law of Her Own, short time travel set in 1889 in the Texas Panhandle. Another project is a romantic suspense set along Route 66 in New Mexico.

Cate: What inspired you to draft your first story?
Linda: In the early 1990s, I went through a period of depression and anxiety. At night I had trouble going to sleep so decided to craft a story in my mind as a distraction. Doing so never failed to put me to sleep. I liked the story idea so much I decided to put it to paper. Fifteen years later, When the Ocotillo Bloom came out with Wings Press and I’ve been writing ever since.

Cate: Do you have a writing routine?
Linda: Unfortunately, I don’t. I write in spurts.

Cate: Where can readers find you on the web?
Readers can sign up to receive my monthly newsletter by completing the form on the either my website or my blog. If you’d prefer, you can sign up by emailing me at and put newsletter in the subject line. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter.
I have a monthly ebook drawing on my blog every month and would love to have readers stop by my blog to see if it interests them.

Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Linda: Yes, I’d like to know if readers like to learn a few historical details when reading a historical romance. Also, do you skim any part of a book and if so, which parts – description, internal dialogue, etc.

Cate: Readers, Linda is giving away a book to a random commenter... so start commenting. She’ll announce a winner Friday morning, Feb. 18th. The winner can select an ecopy of any of my books.

Linda: Thank you all for stopping by today, reading my interview, and leaving a comment. It’s always a pleasure to connect with readers and hear what you have to say. Again, Cate, thank you for having me here today.

Cate: Always a pleasure, Linda! Thanks for being my guest.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New contract with TWRP!

Woo hoo! I'm so excited the Wild Rose Press has given me a contract for my short fantasy, Romancing the Hero! It's a really fun, snappy little story.

Here's the unofficial blurb:

For romance writer Jody Feather, love is wonderful—on the page. Her books are instant bestsellers, but her own love life needs a shot of adrenaline. When a man shows up claiming to be Jake Emerson, her most popular hero, Jody’s hormones shoot sky high. Jake’s incredible. He’s so perfect, she’s sure her publicist sent him as a prop for her signing. At the conference, fans adore him. Trouble is, she can’t reach her publicist to confirm. She’s amazed how the guy has the character down pat. No matter how much she pries and prods, he sticks to his story: he’s Jake Emerson. When he reveals bits of information no one else could know, she stops doubting his story, and begins to doubt her sanity. Jake convinces her she’s long overdue for love, if she’ll open herself to it. But once she does, will she lose Jake for real?

In my head, the hero looked something like this guy. Okay, it was Sam Worthington all along. :) I couldn't resist!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Laura Tolomei in the Author Spotlight

Cate: Please welcome Laura Tolomei. Laura, will you please share a short bio with us?
Laura: Right away.
Born 1965 in Rome, Italy, I grew up in Nigeria, US and India, returning to Rome to complete my studies and start a working career. In 2008 I published my first short story, “The Moon Priestess”, in eXtasy’s Anthology Atlantis Allure and have been writing and publishing since then in both Italian and English. Still a fairly new author, I have already published several full length novels and short stories at eXtasy Books, with more yet to come also on Whiskey Creek Torrid and Romance Divine.

Cate: Tell us about Visionquest and where it's available.
Visionquestavailable @ eXtasy Books and AREis a shape shifting horror fantasy set in medieval times and told in first person POV by Ilenio, a young man from a small village who is chosen by the nobleman in charge, Lord Brahany, to become his personal assistant in solving a series of horrible murders. The choice is hardly casual because Ilenio is a Visionario, one who has visions about the killer and his slaughters, so Lord Brahany needs his skills in order to change into an eagle and fight the evil darkening his land. So their connection must be as intimate as it can get to trigger the transformation. It’s shape shifting at its best, only a bit different from what readers are used to because the emphasis is on sensations and emotions that will pull them into a unique relationship where sex is just one of the means to accomplish their mission.

Cate: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Laura: How about both?

It wasn’t till he took me to his bed and made love to me, for the first time—no competition between us, no unspoken challenge, no master-slave, no blood, no death, nothing but intense emotions overwhelming me with the sheer power of his feelings, a sea so deep, a tide so strong I thought I’d drown as he took me face up, raising my legs above his shoulders and plunging deep before preying on my mouth, too, in a never-ending kiss that took my breath, not to mention my resolve, away—that in spite of everything, I gave him what he wanted most, my soul in its entirety, for I knew right there and then I was sealing my destiny forever.

“Yes, I need you to fight the darkness.”
“A great lord like you needs someone as lowly as me?” Baffled, I stared wide-eyed.
Sprawled on his giant bed in the master chamber, the Seigneuros stroked my hair, caressing and playing with the thick strands. “Aye, I do. You see, the world is full of evil dressed up in one shape or another. Some take the form of beasts, others of demons or vicious entities, though none is more dangerous than those that remain human in only outwardly, concealing their unspeakable blackness beneath apparently normal features.”
“And you fight against them? How?”
He was silent for a moment until his hand slipped around my shoulder. “Little one, what I’m about to reveal is one of the best kept secrets of Griphonis Castle.”
I raised my head, offended he could only think of me as a traitor. “I’d never betray you, Master. I swear!”
He smiled gently. “I know you won’t, because you’re as much a part of it as I am.” He shook his head. “No, I’m simply warning you the truth about me might be harder to handle than you imagine.” He took a deep breath while continuing the slow massage on my back. “What you see of me now is only half of what I am. And since the half you see can’t fight evil, I need to rely on one you can’t see right now.”
“What’s your other half like?” Though afraid of the answer, I knew I had to ask the question.
“It’s a raptor, an eagle-like predator whose only purpose in life is to destroy the dark forces trying to obscure the world’s light.”
As suddenly as if lightning had struck me, I understood my role. “But you can’t turn into it as you’d like because—”
I need a Visionario like you, someone who sees and feels the evil as if it were part of himself, no matter where it happens, then shares it with me through thoughts, images, sensations, anything more than simple words to urge me into the necessary change.
“The nightmares!” And as strange as it sounded, it finally made sense as I opened my mouth wide in understanding.
Exactly. He nodded in agreement while placing a hand over my mouth. But use your thoughts to reach me.
I can actually hear you in my head.
Yes, little one, and I need this to transform into the beast half. You’ll have to be my hunter, the one telling me of the visions and making me turn one form or the other.
The task seemed far too big for my limited possibilities, so I started to tell him, but he had already read my mind as clearly as if I’d spoken the words themselves. You simply need training and that’s what you’re here for. I’ll have my hunters pour their experience into you until you’ll reach their level while I…
The thought trailed off as his hand closed on my ass. I’ll take care of the fun part.

Cate: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Laura: Well, in this world long hair is a sign of rank, so only noblemen are allowed the privilege. But my hero, Ilenio, thinks otherwise and lets his hair grow to an impressive length, which is what Lord
Brahany notices of him. Here’s a brief excerpt of their encounter:

“Hey, boy, who are you?” The commanding voice broke through my thoughts.
“I’m Ilenio, son of Corias, sir.” Then I bowed not knowing how else to respond to his authoritative tone. “I live here, in the village right under—”
He raised a hand to stop me, obviously uninterested in my whereabouts. “Turn around,” he ordered instead, after another thorough look over.
I obeyed without hesitations and I felt him curl his lips at the sight of what he shouldn’t have found on someone like me.
“You dare follow our customs?”
Cruel and sarcastic, his snarl was meant to belittle me, so I threw back my shoulders and raised my chin to muster all the dignity I could show him. “Seigneuros, I didn’t mean to—”
“Shut up!” He cut me off brusquely. Then to my surprise, he gave me an unexpected order. “Take them down.”
With trembling fingers, I reached for the large pin holding my hair in a tight crotch and removed it to let a mass of reddish-gold strands tumble down my shoulders and all the way to my ass. I was inordinately proud of their length and wavy patterns, so much better than many noblemen’s poor supply of ugly, straight strands that simply hung there without any grace. Mine instead were brilliant in color, shapely in their waves, soft to the touch and very tempting according to what girls told me.
To emphasize the point, I dared shake them a couple of times, just to let him appreciate the curls’ full effect, particularly if they captured the bright light, until hearing nothing behind me, I braved a peek over my shoulder and discovered I was alone in the clearing, the Seigneuros having vanished without a trace or sound.

Cate: What's next for you?
Laura: As far as writing goes, sci-fi. It implies too much technical and scientific knowledge and I possess little of both. But I love reading it, particularly the one written by women, which tend to make it more human, less technical somehow, although I have to confess my favorite author of all is Philip K. Dick.

Cate: What inspired you to draft your first story?
Laura: The first full-length story is an untitled manuscript, written with my faithful typewriter of almost 30 years ago, of which I remember NOTHING, not even what inspired me. The inspiration I do remember is for my second story line, the Virtus Saga, which dates back to 2006, and it has to do with a recurring image I kept visualizing before I went to sleep or while I was lying on the beach under a torrid sun. In my head, I kept seeing this horseman apparently lost in a land that should’ve been familiar to him, then darkness and a heavy rain fall on him until he sees a light in the distance and knows he’s safe. So he hurries there and knocks on the door of a run-down shack, a place he had no chance of seeing before because he’s a prince and lives in a grand estate, but the young woman who opens the door is not a stranger to him, though he couldn’t tell her name or why he would’ve known her. Mystery and more mystery, and the answers are not so forthcoming, but that’s how Virtus began with its first book, The Sex, now available, along with The Game Book 2 and The Festival Book 3.

Cate: Do you have a writing routine?
Laura: Absolutely not! I hate routines in whatever shape or form, so I avoid them strenuously. I simply go with the flow of things according to my mood and the momentary inspiration, nothing planned or set ahead.

Cate: Where can readers find you on the web?
Laura: A variety of places. Here’s some of them:

My Web



The Blood Bank (Bitten by Books):

Erotic Romance Writers & Reader:

Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Laura: Yeah, I’d like to know what they think of my books in general, if they caught any messages in my writing, and if so, did it enhance their reading pleasure or reduced it.

Cate: Readers, Laura’s giving away a book, The Game, to a random commenter... so start commenting. She'll pick a winner on Feb. 15th, and announce the winner here.
Thanks so much for being my guest, Laura. Best of luck to you.