Friday, August 31, 2012

Revised and re-released! Angels Sinners and Madmen

Dressed in its shiny new cover, and revised to make it even better, my historical romance, Angels Sinners and Madmen, is now available on Amazon! I'm really excited for its re-release.

Reviewers called it “enchanting,” adding “I loved it and applaud Cate for creating a time in the past that seems so real in this book.” Another said: “You will fall in love these two characters along with the rest of Sam's wrecker friends. Laughter, tragedy and heroism abound, so make sure you have plenty of time when you start reading Angels, Sinners and Madmen, because you will not want to put this gripping story down until you have read every single word of it.”

The previous version was a Top Ten Finisher in the Preditors and Editors Poll! You can read more about it here:

And I'd love for you to read it, of course. :) When I visited Key West years ago, I was fascinated by the history of the wreckers, and couldn't wait to bring the setting to life in a novel. I hope you'll find it as intriguing as I did! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Space and time

For most writers, space and time present the greatest challenges. For me, they're more like obstacles to hurdle, but that's another story. :)

One of my favorite creative people, John Cleese, shares his tips for fostering creativity in the videos below. If you don't have time to watch (though they're well worth the time), here are the five factors Cleese says you can work to your advantage:

1. Space - “You can’t become playful, and therefore creative, if you’re under your usual pressures.”

2. Time - “It’s not enough to create space; you have to create your space for a specific period of time.”

3. Time - “Giving your mind as long as possible to come up with something original” 

4. Confidence - “Nothing will stop you being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake"

5. Humor - “The main evolutionary significance of humor is that it gets us from the closed mode to the open mode quicker than anything else.”

And here's a longer version:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Infringement avoidance

Trolling the Internet for images has become a bit like fishing in shark-infested waters these days. I've always tried to be very careful about what images I use but the recent post by author Roni Loren who was sued for posting images on her blog made me more wary. You can read her cautionary tale here.

I believed the images I found for my book videos were legal, but because I'm not certain, I've deleted all but two from YouTube. As much as I loved the book videos and took such pains in making them, I don't have the resources to fight a legal battle. And I would never consciously share another artist's copyrighted work. So I'm slowly rebuilding them, after searching for copyright-free images, or using my own plus the cover images, as in this new video for Death Is A Bitch:

That was a stunning sunset over the orchards behind my house. It captured the mixture of awe and warning I needed.

My one conundrum is my blog series Casting Call, in which I post photos of the actors I virtually cast in my stories as I write. I'll have to figure out a workaround for that. Just listing their names would be boring, and often I'll find a pic that really embodies the character.

I've been going through old posts and removing graphics, but with more than one thousand posts, it's an ongoing process. Unfortunately, from now on the blog will be less decorative and appear more utilitarian. Guess I'll have to start taking a lot more photos and posting those instead, like this one -- one of my garden peppers that, when I sliced it open, revealed this happy face. A sign from the universe that everything will be all right!

Friday, August 24, 2012


Ah, summer. One note of a summer-themed song, and I'm singing along, and humming it the rest of the day. Music influences so many writers, including myself. I don't keep playlists, as some do, but sometimes a song will trigger a story. Other times, I weave musical influences into my stories.

In any case, summer's a great time for both music and reading. Hard to believe this summer's almost over, isn't it?

Blog hops and other events have thrown my regular Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule off of late. But that's what summer's all about, really - getting away from the drudgery of a relentless schedule.

Do you have favorite summer "beach" reads? Do you distinguish between summer reads and your reading the rest of the year? I don't - I read any genre anytime. Right now, Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas has me captivated. I am in love with his writing and have to read the series.

What do you like to read in the summer? Or listen to?

Here are a few summer songs, classic and newer ones:

And a quick reminder for this weekend's Western Blurb Fest!

If you write stories set in the West, whether historical or contemporary, come share your blurb this weekend at TBR!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blog hop winners and another friend's news

Thanks to everyone who visited for the Last Days of Summer Blog Hop! I really appreciate the positive reception for my two giveaways. And am grateful for my new blog and FB followers!

And now, for the winners...

Heather (Red Headed Bookworm) has won the ebook of Going with Gravity

Denise Z has won the ebook of The 12 Dancing, Zombie-Killing Princesses.

Congrats! I'll email you your ebooks today. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Thanks again for making the blog hop such a success!

Congratulations to Susan Gourley on the release of Beneath the Mountain!

Here's the blurb:

Beneath the Mountains continues the battle in the kingdom of Futhark. Marshal Cage Stone and his brother, King Jonared have pushed the demons out of the city of Futhark and regained the throne from the usurper. But they both know the peace is fragile and the demon solution is only temporary. Cage picks up the first hints of the evil power behind the plagues of illnesses and violence spreading throughout the city and into the countryside. He races to capture the demon lord before Keeper Sabelline Shelton embarks on a desperate mission to forever close off the opening to the underworld beneath the mountains towering over the city. Sabelline and Cage both believe going beneath the mountain will be a trip of no return.

Isn't that a cool cover? Check Susan's blog for more info on how you can get your copy. It's on my TBR list!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blogger friends' news

If you're looking for the Last Days of Freedom Blog Hop, click here or scroll to the post below this one. Thanks!
Congrats to Ciara Knight on the release of Weighted!

Here's the blurb:

The Great War of 2185 is over, but my nightmare has just begun. I am being held captive in the Queen’s ship awaiting interrogation. My only possible ally is the princess, but I’m unsure if she is really my friend or a trap set by the Queen to fool me into sharing the secret of my gift. A gift I keep hidden even from myself.  It swirls inside my body begging for release, but it is the one thing the Queen can never discover. Will I have the strength to keep the secret? I’ll know the answer soon. If the stories are true about the interrogators, I’ll either be dead or a traitor to my people by morning.  

Isn't that a gorgeous cover? Check Ciara's blog for details on how you can get your copy!

Congrats to Lorrie Struiff on the release of The COD Series!

Here's the blurb:

Winnie Krapski hugged a cherry tree during a lightning storm. The bolt slammed her, splitting the tree in half. The near-death experience bestowed her with a gift–one she’d rather not have.
Drafted into the C.O.D. Club (Call on the Dead) by Fat Phil Phillips, her mission is to grant the newly deceased’s ghost one last reasonable request. Can Winnie honor her oath?

Check Lorrie's web site for details on how you can get your copy!

Congrats to Maria Zannini on the (almost) release of Mistress of the Stone!

Officially, release day is August 28, but if you pre-order, you get a great deal - only $3.85 from Samhain Publishing.

Here's the blurb:

She was ready for his steel, but not for his flesh.
Luísa Tavares has a list of sins the length of the Antilles, but there’s no time to repent for them now. When a pockmarked Frenchman hands her Papa’s ring—still attached to his severed finger—she orders the Coral back to the Caribbean, despite her father’s earlier warning never to return.
It’s Luísa’s luckless fate that the only man who can help her is a blasted Inglés pirate hunter who’s more dead than alive and locked in a curse he doesn’t want lifted. Worse, his feral sensuality sparks a hunger she can’t ignore.
Xander Daltry hadn’t planned on kidnapping this wild woman—or succumbing to his uncontrollable desire for her. But he needs Luísa and the moonstone she wears around her neck to rescind a witch’s spell. His sister, long dead, and others like her have been cursed to remain in the mortal plane for eternity. Only the stone can set them free.
The only way to convince the reluctant pirate queen to help him is to withhold one small bit of the truth. For if she learns who really betrayed her father, the longing in her fiery eyes could easily turn to murderous wrath…

Check Maria's site for more details!

Congrats to Marva Dasef on the release of Setara's Genie!

Here's the blurb:

Abu Nuwas sits in the bazaar on his threadbare rug; a cup and sign proclaim him a teller of tales. For one small coin, he bids passers by to listen. A poor girl, Najda, sells spices from a tray. Would he, she asks, trade a tale for a packet of spice? Abu Nuwas agrees and begins the epic adventures of a girl and her genie.
As did Scheherazade before him, Abu leaves Najda hanging in the middle of each yarn to keep her coming back.
He relates the adventures of the bored daughter of a rich merchant, Setara, and her genie, Basit, as they encounter the creatures of legend and folklore: a lonely cave demon seeking a home; a flying, fire-breathing horse who has lost his mate; a dragon searching for his family; an evil genie hunting for the man who put him in a lamp; and a merboy prince cast out of his undersea kingdom.

Available from MuseItUp Publishing. Catch up to Marva on her blog tour.

All these titles feature strong female heroines, so they all appeal to me. How about you?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fever Dreams, contemporary with fantasy elements

Looking for the Last Days of Summer Blog Hop? Click here or scroll down.

Fever Dreams is now revised and re-released - and free!

It's available on Smashwords and all affiliated sites.

Here's the blurb:

When Diana Taylor changes jobs, she doesn’t expect it to change her life. Meeting Cal opens up a new world of passion. He encourages her to pursue her passion for photography. Her love overwhelms her, blurs the line between reality and dreams. But is it love or obsession?

I hadn't planned to re-release this title, but kept seeing copies for sale by others. It's very discouraging to have to deal with illegal downloading. If readers are interested in Fever Dreams, you are welcome to it. If you enjoyed it, I hope you'll consider leaving a review.

Thanks to Eternal Press, which first released this novel!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Last Days of Freedom Blog Hop

Wow summer has flown by! Hard to believe August is more than half over. But though the days already are growing shorter, there's plenty of life left in summer, so let's make the most of them!

Thanks to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for hosting this blog hop! Be sure to visit all the participating blogs for a chance to win tons of goodies.

My two giveaways

Going with Gravity (ebook)
Contemporary romance novella (sensual heat level)
Set in Oahu (where there's endless summer, ahhh)
2011 EPIC finalist

Here's the blurb:
Publicist Allison Morris plans her own life – what’s left of it – around the life of her boss Michelle McCarter, the ex-wife of a famous rock star. When Michelle needs emergency public relations patchwork in Hawaii pronto, Allison arranges a flight to the dream destination. At the airport, she meets Wes Hamilton, a six-foot-three sun-bleached blond whose blue eyes and dazzling smile rekindle her fizzled-out sizzle.
A world-renowned surfer, Wes captivates her with his charm and wit, though his easy fame and on-the-edge lifestyle are the polar opposite of her own. When their jet loses its fuselage in mid-air, she takes advantage of what she thinks are her last minutes alive with Wes. The plane lands safely. Wes takes care of her when her carefully constructed life begins to unravel. When Michelle accuses Allison of using Wes to gain fame for herself, Allison’s world falls apart in an explosive confrontation. Wes is waiting with open arms when she has nowhere else to go, but can Allison learn to stop planning and go with gravity?

The 12 Dancing, Zombie-Killing Princesses (ebook)
Paranormal/horror/futuristic romance (sweet heat level)
My latest release
Here's the blurb:
Meilin’s never believed in fairy tales. Happy ever afters might have happened in the old days – before zombies. But this is 2089, and the zombies beyond City are nothing like the ones your parents warned you about.
When their father promises riches to the one who can rid their city of zombies, the twelve King sisters rush to develop a solution that won’t bankrupt Dad.
The war overseas left Will disillusioned, but fighting zombies at home is a cause he can embrace. Meilin’s another. Tough but sweet, she might make him believe in life again, and maybe even love, if she doesn’t kick his ass first.
When zombies kidnap her family, Meilin must rescue them. But can she and Will save them from the worst fate of all?

How to enter

I'm going to make this easy. Just leave a comment on this post and let me know which ebook you'd like to win. That's it! Though I wouldn't object if you decided to follow my blog or like my Facebook page. :) And I hope you'll bookmark my blog and visit again.

Don't forget to visit the other participating blogs. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Casting Call: The Twelve Dancing, Zombie-Killing Princesses

While I'm writing, stories play in my head like movies, often very vividly. In my blog series Casting Call, I reveal who played each character's part.

While you might think The Twelve Dancing, Zombie-Killing Princesses has a huge cast, it actually doesn't. Twelve sisters is too much for one story, though the Grimms may not have thought so. :)  In my modern version, I name less than half, and only three play major roles.

The sisters, all adopted, are all the same age, but the others sometimes tease the heroine, Meilin, because she's technically the youngest. (As the youngest of seven, I sympathize with her!)

Their father, who's also mayor of the futuristic City, had them privately tutored, so the girls are well-educated. Their skills go way beyond academics, and they love to put their knowledge to practical use in their private lab.

Meilin puts her technical expertise to work on several systems to eliminate the zombie colony beyond City. Its boundaries sometimes feel like a prison and she wants to break free, and help other cities reopen by using her knowledge where needed.

Lucy Liu was always Meilin in my head.

Four years of military service left Will disillusioned. Returning home to the awful conditions in City, he realizes life will never be worthwhile until the zombies are destroyed. He doesn't have much left to lose, and everything to gain - especially Meilin. Had she not been privately schooled, he'd have made a play for her a long time ago.

Once he discovers she has the same goal in mind - eradicating the zombies - he's ready to take them on.

Ryan Gosling's quiet intensity makes him perfect as Will.

Zoe's technically the oldest of the sisters, and takes the role, and life, seriously. She's bossy and tough, aggressive and abrasive.

Uma Thurman would make a wonderful Zoe.

Lakshme's very close to Meilin, but also tries to be Switzerland during battles between the two. Like her sisters, she's a genius at technical systems, and is pretty handy with a gun, too.

Wonderful accent and all, Reshma Shetty is Lakshme.

Mr. King adopted his twelve daughters as infants, but unfortunately his wife died a few years later. He did his best to parent them, but after the rise of the zombies, had to leave his position as a scientist to become Mayor of City.

Harrison Ford's lopsided smile always reminded me of my own Dad, so he's Mr. King.

Reconstructed from a zombie attack, Dory was saved before the pathogen fully turned her. Mr. King paid for surgery to amputate and replace her arms and legs, so she jokes there’s not much left of her still human except her heart. Half her face is reconstructed because the zombie went for her brains. She’s fiercely dedicated to the girls, and in love with Mr. King.

I always imagined Jeri Ryan as Dory.

Nevin Duquesne came to a tragic end - so everyone thought. Until he reappeared as a zombie. Once Mr. King's trusted advisor and friend, now Nevin has no conscience, and his only motivations are greed and revenge.

Gary Oldman would be wonderful as Nevin.

So other than the requisite extras, that's the cast of The Twelve Dancing, Zombie-Killing Princesses. Hope you've enjoyed this Casting Call.  

The Twelve Dancing, Zombie-Killing Princesses is available from Smashwords and Amazon.

Monday, August 13, 2012

New release! The 12 Dancing, Zombie-Killing Princesses

August is a crazy month. I have another new release! Today, it's a fast, fun read that's a futuristic take on one of my favorite Grimm fairy tales, The Twelve Dancing Princesses. If you're not familiar with this particular Grimm story, you can check it out here. But while the original version contained no zombies, I wanted to give it a modern twist.

I had thought of subbing the novella around, but after finding this image, it was too perfect to pass on.

The Twelve Dancing Zombie-Killing Princesses is available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Here's the blurb:

Meilin’s never believed in fairy tales. Happy ever afters might have happened in the old days – before zombies. But this is 2089, and the zombies beyond City are nothing like the ones your parents warned you about.
When their father promises riches to the one who can rid their city of zombies, the twelve King sisters rush to develop a solution that won’t bankrupt Dad.
The war overseas left Will disillusioned, but fighting zombies at home is a cause he can embrace. Meilin’s another. Tough but sweet, she might make him believe in life again, and maybe even love, if she doesn’t kick his ass first.
When zombies kidnap her family, Meilin must rescue them. But can she and Will save them from the worst fate of all?


I love fairy tales and zombies, usually not together, but when I saw The 12 Dancing Zombie Killing Princesses I couldn’t help myself.
I’m so glad I didn’t.

The 12 Dancing Zombie Killing Princesses is a short story and I finished it in just a few hours, but boy is there a lot going on. Lots of action, and romance. The zombies in this book aren’t your run of the mill undead, which Will and Meilin figure out quite fast. The plot sucked me in, moving fast and keeping me entertained as well as on the edge of my seat. Each new development pulled me deeper into the story wanting to know what was going to happen and if they would save Meilin’s family.
Dark Divas Reviews - 5 Divas and a Recommended Read!

This is a short book about Will, who returns to City from war wants to become a zombie fighter, on his way home he encounters the 12 adopted daughters of the city's mayor who appear to have some plans of their own ...

Of the 12 girls you only properly get to know Zoe and Meilin who are both wonderfully strong characters, very bright and capable and not at all fond of been treated as mere girls much to Will and their fathers discomfort.  Will is quite sweet but is also a hardened soldier and his main motivation is to help his mother. I found it easy to slip into the authors world and also liked the way she humanised the zombies even if they are the bad guys!

Casting Call - Who did Cate envision in these roles? Find out here.


Miles from the boundary surrounding City, Will had somehow stumbled into their realm. He could tell by the stench, first of all, the unmistakable rot of flesh that permeated the air, made worse by the night’s humidity. Second, they left an obvious trail – they’d pushed through branches and snapped off the ends, shuffled across the forest floor and crushed undergrowth, basically clearing a path, visible enough in moonlight to follow. No wonder City residents had given up on farming the Grey Zone. Worse than grey – a fallow, and foul, wasteland.
Hopefully the zombies would make enough noise to cover the accidental snaps of twigs beneath his boots. It helped that some asshole blasted music somewhere nearby. Club music, of all things. Why so far from City? No one lived this far out, not these days. Like the other zombie-infested areas, people clustered their homes behind protected boundaries.
He caught sight of something moving ahead and ducked behind a tree.
Yep, a zombie.
How many, though? New to zombie hunting, Will found it difficult to guess, and it might end up being the one variable that could get him ripped apart.
He followed at a safe distance, always glancing behind and to the side. Two advanced from the rear, a few more on either side of him. Hell, he’d put himself in the middle of them. If he scrambled off, they’d charge him and not stop until they tasted blood. No, better to make like one of them and move slowly. And don’t sweat it – the phrase took on critical importance; perspiration would be a dead giveaway. Like he used to before deer hunting, he’d masked his scent to throw the zombies off. No advance warnings for his prey. Will wanted to keep the element of surprise.
Careful not to make any sudden movement, he increased his pace to get ahead of them. Every step brought him closer to the source of the music, and to the crazy lighting. In a clearing, about a dozen females danced on a makeshift floor. A freaking disco ball sent orbs of light fluttering across the forest, a disorienting effect.
Will had to warn them. The girls appeared to be about his age, so they had youth on their side, but where were their vehicles? Had someone dropped them off to dance in the middle of nowhere? Stupid. Really stupid, in every aspect.
No sense keeping up the slow pace. He jogged ahead. The nearer he came to the dance floor, the more he couldn’t believe it. King’s daughters! He and his friends used to joke about wanting to get them alone, but he’d never dreamed he’d have the chance, and especially not like this. Adopted sisters, all about the same age, they looked more like a mini U.N., each one a different nationality.
Maybe he’d been in the service too long, but the four years he’d been away, the sixteen-year-olds he’d last seen had grown into amazing women. Strikingly beautiful, and their graceful moves meant they were in top physical shape. Good thing, they’d need to put it to use very soon.
Their names escaped him except for one. Meilin. Since the first time he’d glimpsed her, when they were both kids, she’d especially captured his attention. If their father hadn’t hired a private tutor, he’d have pursued her during school.
Petite, but excellent muscle tone. Long dark hair cascaded like a silken waterfall down her back, flowing with each sway of her hips. Hands raised above her head, eyes closed, as if lost in the music. The sweetest face he’d ever seen.
He glanced back. No sign of the zombies yet. It would take them awhile to reach this place. He hadn’t danced with a girl in forever. He wanted to dance now. With her.