Sunday, December 04, 2005

Getting Published 101 (or how *not* to get published)

I'm writing this for three reasons: 1) To get out of answering e-mail, which is now overflowing out of my inbox, like oatmeal flowing out of the pot (it's so overwhelming, I don't know where to start), and; 2) One of my new resolutions is to actually post entries to my blog, and; 3) Getting published is a crazy business, so maybe I can share some of my trails and tribulations to give you some hope. So I'm going to cover various obstacles and solutions, in little chunks, over the month of December.

When I first started writing seriously for publication (I'd written all my life, but the 'have-to-get-published' bug didn't hit until my late 30's; obviously, that was only a few years ago). When I started on 'the path', I was hyped, I was enthusiastic, I was convinced I was the next Nora Roberts, and I was like a bull in a china shop. I went charging around with absolutely no idea of what I was doing. I didn't even know that I didn't even know . In my ignorance, I basically ended up doing *everything* wrong: submitting a manuscript in a binder, going into an editor appointment without a thought-out pitch, writing inappropriate query letters--you name it, I did it. Of course I was writing and writing and writing (which was a *good* thing), but even there, I didn't know what I was doing wrong. It was a scary situation .

But I also did some things right: I subscribed to Writer's Digest and Romantic Times Magazine, I joined RWA and my local writing chapter (Dallas Area Romance Authors), and started educating myself on the publishing business. I also read books on writing techniques, talked writing with other writers, wormed my way into a good critique group. And as I learned the professional approach to becoming a published author, I did a lot of cringing as I realized all the faux pas (I.E., total screwups) I had committed, and I wanted to slink away in embarrassment. But guess what? I survived all my mistakes, managed to pay for the damage in the china shop, and somehow, *somehow* managed to stumble into being published.

So, I guess my message is, don't worry if you make mistakes, or if you don't get it right the first time. *Keep trying*. I firmly believe those who persevere are the ones who make it in this crazy business.

~ Catherine

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Stuffed and happy

Hey there! I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving. I know I did. My two children (okay, *young adults*), Jim and Deborah, came home from college, and they brought with them four foreign students who didn't have anywhere to spend the holiday. All four were guys and tres cute. Laurant was from Belgium, "T" from Germany, Alec from Britain, and Sid from Australia. It was great having them with us. They were so enthusiastic and full and life and seemed to live in the moment, and to make the most of those moments. They made me feel somwhat old and frumpy, while my husband felt young again (funny at our different reactions, huh?). We had fifteen people at our dinner table on Thanksgiving, and it was great. This is always one of my favorite holidays. I'm so grateful for my many blessings, for my many friends, and my wonderful readers (whom I count among my friends). I hope all of you had as wonderful a holiday as I did. Thanks as always for your interest and support.

~ Catherine

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Come dance through "The Garden of Good and Evil"

Ready to be BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BEVAMPYRED? That's the name of a great new anthology that's featuring Susan Grant's story, "A Dance Through The Garden of Good and Evil". As always, I'm amazed by Susan's creative genius, and this time, she's created a whole new world, right here among us mere mortals:

Welcome to Brokenoggin Falls, where the housewives are not only desperate, they’re Witches! (And one of them might be a Harpy) The spells cast by moonlight frequently go awry. And there are times when toads and Chihuahuas seem abundant as black flies in the summer, the dragons are a little touchy, the Forest Trolls are in danger of extinction from teeny-boppers, the Gryphons need help conceiving and...the scientists are crunchy and good with ketchup...

When Pastor Harmony Faithfull unknowingly hires a tall, dark, and sexy demon to be the new church groundskeeper, all hell breaks loose.

Even cooler than reading Susan's new novella is the fact that all proceeds from the sales of this book will go to the International Red Cross. So support a very worthy cause while enjoying Susan's entertaining story.

You can read an excerpt on Susan's website at

I'm baaack!

I haven't been gone that long, have I? Hmmmm . . . only 2-1/2 months. Okay, okay, I've been a slug, all right? I've also been busy. Since I last posted, I had a houseguest from Australia for 8 days, then I had two houseguests from New Orleans for four weeks, plus I spent 10 days in Alabama, moving my father from a house to an apartment. Of course, the house was much bigger than the apartment, and he'd lived there a mere 30 years. Where does all that stuff come from??? I did find some of my junior high and high school year books while I was cleaning out his house, which is both cool and scary (I was neither pretty or photogenic at those ages). Then there's this pesky day job (where they seem to expect me to work!), and my current WIP, The Edge of Darkness, which is totally different from anything I've ever written and quite the challenge. Not that I'm complaining, mind you .

Life does seem to be settling back down, although we're traveling to the Atlanta area in a few weeks to see my in-laws (or "The Outlaws" as I affectionately refer to them). Then there's Thanksgiving and the December holidays. And a book deadline--yikes!

But I'll try to post here occasionally. I might even update my webpage and offer a new contest (notice I said "might").

Anyway, it's good to be back.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Magnetic . . . and intriguing

I just finished reading the excerpt from Moon Magnetism by Lucy Monroe, one of the stories in the anthology Star Quality from Brava. And all I can say is the word "magnetism" definitely applies here. I heard Lucy speak at the RWA conference in Reno a few weeks ago, and she was charming and had a hilarious sense of humor. It comes through loud and clear in Moon Magnetism, along with her ability to write steamy stories with sexy, magnetic heros. But the magnetism that's the center of Moon Magnetism is that of the heroine, Ivy Kendall. All the women in her family have an odd trait that makes them extremely magnetic during a full moon and disrupts most technical gadgets. Unfortunately, Ivy works for a man (the hunky hero, Blake Hawthorne) who orders his life around technical gadgets. She doesn't dare let him get too close during the full moon, but he has other ideas. Wow. I must read the rest of this great story. More details below:

“Moon Magnetism” featured in STAR QUALITY by Lucy Monroe
(Kensington Brava, May 2005)

Ivy Kendall dreads the full moon. For generations, women in her family have been extremely magnetic on that day—which was fine fifty years ago but not in the age of hard drives and cell phones. That’s why the hotel manager has resisted the technological improvements her boss wants her to implement. Now, the sexy, dynamic Blake Hawthorne is coming to insist on the upgrades in person. Shoot, he’ll probably fire her. Being around Blake makes her body go as haywire as a full moon, maybe even more. And as long as she’s going to be out of a job soon, there’s no reason not to use a little of that magnetism to her advantage, luring him into an elevator where the only electricity that will work is the kind they generate themselves…


Award winning author Lucy Monroe sold her first book in September of 2002. Since then she has sold more than 30 books to three publishers and hit national bestsellers lists in the US and England. Her highly charged, sensual stories touch on the realities of life while giving the reader a fantasy story not easily forgotten. Whether it's a passionate Harlequin Presents, a sexy single title for Kensington or a steamy historical or paranormal for Berkley, Lucy's books transport her readers to a special place where the heart rules and love conquers all.


Happy reading!

~ Catherine

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Go . . . Beyond Control

I am continually amazed at the creativity and talent of today’s leading paranormal romance authors. Rebecca York is no exception, with her latest book, Beyond Control, which is a paranormal suspense about two telepaths whose powers are enhanced when they come together sexually. The story’s opening is intriguing and fast-paced, with Ms. York’s trademark crisp and evocative writing. This book has it all: heart-stopping action, suspense, fabulous paranormal elements, and sizzling sexual tension. You can read more below:

BEYOND CONTROL by Rebecca York
(Berkley, August 2005)

BEYOND CONTROL, by Rebecca York, tells the story of telepaths who discover and develop their powers only when they sexually link with another of their kind.

Jordan Walker and Lindsay Fleming meet at a Washington, D. C., cocktail party. When they touch, they experience an electric moment of psychic awareness. As they explore the unique bond forming between them, they discover that the more intimate their contact, the more their psychic powers develop.

As with York’s Moon books, Lindsay and Jordan must work out their personal relationship against a background of danger and suspense after they stumble onto his murder cover-up at a secret biological weapons lab. At the same time, two other telepaths who want all the psychic goodies for themselves set out to wipe Jordan and Lindsay from the face of the earth.

Rebecca York says that, "Publishers wouldn’t touch a story with this unique blend of suspense and sensuality 15 years ago. But the characters and the plot wouldn’t let me go, so I held onto them until the time was right."



Ever since she can remember, Ruth Glick has loved making up stories full of adventure, romance and suspense. As a child she corralled her friends into adventure games or acted out romantic suspense stories with a cast of dolls. But she never assumed she could be an author, because she couldn't spell. Her life changed, however, with the invention of the word processor and spelling checker--and the help of her husband, Norman Glick, who spots spelling errors from fifty paces away. Writing as Rebecca York, she has authored or co-authored over 45 romantic suspense novels, many for Harlequin Intrigue's very popular 43 Light Street series, set in Baltimore, and many with paranormal elements.


As always, I’d love to hear if you enjoyed this amazing book.

~ Catherine

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Yes! She's back!!!

Yes! She’s back! Betsy Taylor, ex-administrative assistant, somewhat shallow and vain chick with a fetish for designer shoes—and who just happens to be Queen of the Undead—is back. Oh, joy (no sarcasm intended)! The Undead books by MaryJanice Davidson are some of my absolute favorites, and always at the top of my “must be read immediately” pile. Undead and Unappreciated is the third book in the series, behind Undead and Unwed and Undead and Unemployed, and I’m in the process of devouring it (figuratively).

Undead and Unappreciated has the classic MaryJanice Davidson wit, and Betsy is at the top of her game. Well, maybe not completely at the top. She has started attending AA meetings to help her get over her addiction to blood, and she is about to discover that she has a long-lost half sister who just happens to be the devil’s daughter, plus she still has to deal with the devastatingly handsome and sinfully sexy Sinclair, king of the Vampires. So maybe her life is just a little . . . challenging. But Betsy will come through in top form, like she always does. Here’s more inside information:

(Berkley, July 2005)

Most women would love to live as royalty, but Betsy Taylor has found that being vampire queen has more problems than perks, except for always being awake for Midnight Madness sales. It may be easy to find blood (yuck) in the dark of night, but try finding a strawberry smoothie. And employees at her nightclub Scratch have been giving her nothing but grief since she killed their former boss. Some people...

But Betsy's "life" takes an interesting turn at a baby shower for her wicked stepmother, who lets it slip that Betsy has a long-last half sister. Now twenty years old, this woman just so happens to be the devil's daughter...and destined to rule the world.


MaryJanice Davidson has written in a variety of different genres, including contemporary romance, paranormal romance, erotica, and nonfiction.

MJ is the best-selling author of several romance novels, including UNDEAD AND UNWED and HELLO GORGEOUS. Her first hardcover, UNDEAD AND UNAPPRECIATED, will be out in July. Her books have been on the USA Today best seller list, as well as the New York Times list. Starting in July, she has a release every month through February. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, two children, and dog, and is secretly addicted to Peanut Buster Parfaits.


If you haven’t read this series, what are you waiting for??? Get all three books today and start reading the best chick-lit/vampire/paranormal series around!

Happy reading!

~ Catherine

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Crimson City -- The Epic Begins!

Crimson City by Liz Maverick is the first book in an amazing series which Liz created and developed for Dorchester. It combines two of my favorite genres: futuristic and paranormal. In the world Liz has created, vampires and werewolves now move freely among the humans in futuristic Los Angeles. The heroine, Fleur Dumont, is a gritty and spunky vampire, who is on the outs with her own kind, and is determined to prove herself and regain her place in vampire society. Only things don't go quite as planned, and fate involves her with a tormented hero, a "protector" who's lost everything. This first book is awesome, and I can't wait for the rest of the series. More details:

CRIMSON CITY by Liz Maverick
(Love Spell, July 2005)

Once, this was the City of Angels. The angels are no longer in charge.

From the extravagant appetites of the vampire world above, to the gritty defiance of the werewolves below, the specter of darkness lives around every corner, the hope of paradise in every heart. All walk freely with humans in a tentative peace, but to live in Los Angeles is to balance on the edge of a knife. One woman knows better than most that death lurks here in nights of bliss or hails of UV bullets. She’s about to be tested, to taste true thirst. She’s about to regain the power she’s long been denied. And Fleur Dumont is about to meet the one man who may understand her: a tormented protector who’s lost his way and all he loved.

Theirs is one tale of many. This is Crimson City, where desire meets danger and more than just the stars come out at night.

Liz Maverick created and developed Crimson City as a series for Dorchester. The full slate of rockin’ authors and their books is as follows:

Book #1: Crimson City, by Liz Maverick
Book #2: A Taste of Crimson, by Marjorie M. Liu
Book #3: Through a Crimson Veil, by Patti O'Shea
Book #4: A Darker Crimson, by Carolyn Jewel
Book #5: Seduced by Crimson, by Jade Lee
Book #6: Crimson Rogue, by Liz Maverick


Photo of Liz’s smiling mug:

Other links:

Liz’s blog full of Assorted Misadventures and Photographic Whimsy

Crimson City Hub

Crimson City city resident’s blog

By the way, Liz is a little "nutty" (okay so most authors are), but she's very creative and loads of fun, so be sure to visit some of her online haunts.

Happy reading!

~ Catherine

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Carpe Demon -- Read it!

Julie Kenner is one of the most innovative and creative paranormal romance authors around. I love her amazing and unique stories. Two of her earlier books, Aphrodite’s Kiss (about super heroes) and The Cat’s Fancy (about a cat who becomes a woman a la The Little Mermaid) got me hooked on her stories. She’s continued that trend, and now has fully reached her stride with Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom. This is an amazing, fun, fast-paced book. Just imagine what would happen if Buffy the Vampire Slayer retired and married and had kids (and no one knew about her past). Then imagine what would happen if she were unexpectedly called back into service. That’s exactly what happens when Kate Connor, ex-Demon Hunter Extraordinaire, runs into a demon while trying frantically to shop, herd her teenaged daughter and toddler son, clean house and cook dinner for eight lawyers and judges to help promote her husband’s career. What’s a mom to do when a demon smashes through her breakfast room window and challenges her to the death? Well, that’s a book in itself. Here’s more information on Carpe Demon:

CARPE DEMON: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner
(Berkley, July 2005)
Carpools. Crabgrass. Creatures from the depths of hell. Suburbia has its problems too...
Lots of women put their careers aside once the kids come along. Kate Connor, for instance, hasn't hunted a demon in ages...
That must be why she missed the one wandering through the pet food aisle of the San Diablo Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, he managed to catch her attention an hour later-when he crashed into the Connor house, intent on killing her.
Now Kate has to clean up the mess in her kitchen, dispose of a dead demon, and pull together a dinner party that will get her husband elected to County Attorney-all without arousing her family's suspicion. Worse yet, it seems the dead demon didn't come alone. He was accompanied by a High Demon named Goramesh who, for some unknown reason, intends to kill off the entire population of San Diablo.
It's time for Kate Connor to go back to work.


CARPE DEMON: ADVENTURES OF A DEMON-HUNTING SOCCER MOM has been optioned for film by Warner Brothers & 1492 Pictures, and is scheduled for release as an audiobook from BBC America Audiobooks.

In addition, CARPE DEMON was recently honored by being selected by BOOKSENSE as a Summer 2005 Paperback Pick.

Julie Kenner is a USA Today bestselling author. She is also a former attorney who lives with her husband and daughter.

Do not miss reading this wonderful book! As always, let me know what you think.

~ Catherine

Saturday, July 09, 2005

"The Dress"

Yes, I found it! "The Dress" for the Romance Writers of America RITA awards ceremony in Reno on July 30. For those of you who have never attended, the Golden Heart and RITA awards ceremony is very gala, very glitzy, very "Oscar-ish", and a Very Big Deal, with about 2,500 to 3,000 people in attendance. Since I was fortunate enough to have SHADOW FIRES nominated for a RITA in best paranormal romance, this means I must have "The Dress" to wear for the ceremony. I approached the shopping process with both anticipation (shopping—oh, boy!) and dread (mirrors in dressing rooms—arrrgh!) I also expected it to be a long, arduous process, which is why I started early in July. My 19-year-old daughter, Deborah, went with me, and we headed for Special Occasion Dresses in Dallas. It's a step above outlet evening wear, but a step below some of the Bridal/Formal shops and other high-end women's formal gowns stores.

I tried to look at something other than black—I really did. But not only is black a fabulous color for me, this year's top fashion colors appear to be a stunning gold, or beige, or a combination of colors over beige—all of which make me look washed out and half dead. I tried on some black and hot pink combinations, navy blue, aqua, eyed some red (not much selection and more of an orange red), and came back to the black gowns again and again. Deborah and saleslady Sue and I lugged armloads of gowns to the dressing room, staggering under the weight. Then I discovered I couldn’t zip any of them myself, so Deb helped with that. I also discovered that I couldn’t wear anything with a straight skirt, and had to pull every dress over my head (darn hips!). After two hours of struggling into and out of dresses, and parading them for the entire store (no mirrors in the actual dressing rooms), we had it down to three dresses—all black, and all gorgeous. I didn’t want to choose, but had to turn down Sue’s polite suggestion that I buy *all* three dresses.

We started a judging panel consisting of saleslady Sue, another saleslady, seamstress Keve, Deborah, and a friendly customer. They all sat in chairs lined up in front of the mirrored staging area, and cheered on their favorites as I modeled them (I really expected them to hold up cards with their vote—LOL). I was afraid the vote would be split, but after the modeling and much discussion, we all actually *agreed* on “The Dress” (whew!).

It’s an XSCAPE dress by Joanna Chen (have no clue here), and has a layer of black chiffon over solid black fabric. It has beaded spaghetti straps, a cowl-draped neckline (chiffon shot through with jet beads and sequins in a white flower pattern). The jet and sequined flowers sweep down one side of the dress, which is form fitting to the knees, then flares out to a flounce that goes to the floor. Right above the flare is more extensive beading and sequins. It’s a girly-girl, fairy tale dress with attitude! I’m delighted with it, was amazed to find it at the first place we went, and it was even on sale (although that only dropped it into the “non-fainting” price range). With the unanimous vote, the sale price, and my infatuation with the dress, I took everything as a sign that I’d found “The Dress” and purchased it.

So whether or not I’m graced with the RITA award on July 30, I’ll look pretty darned good—and no matter what happens, I get to keep the dress!

I’ll be sure and take pictures so you can see it. Until then, I’ll be practicing how to walk in it without tripping, and reminding myself to “suck it in”.

Everyone have a great weekend!

~ Catherine

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Another book -- by a "Master"

Hey all, I'm in the middle of MASTER OF THE MOON by Angela Knight. Really cool book! Angela is amazing in that she combines futuristic, paranormal, fantasy, and erotic romance into a unique blend and adds great world building and storytelling ability, and produces fabulous stories. Master of the Moon is the second book in her new series, and it caught my attention right off. The hero, Llyr Galatyn, just happens to be the king of the fairies, and the heroine just happens to be a werewolf imbued with magical powers from none other than the great Merlin. Add a powerful vampire witch who enjoys torturing and murdering people, and Llyr's evil, jealous brother into the mix, and you have an amazing story. Here's more on the book:

MASTER OF THE MOON by Angela Knight
(Berkley Sensation, May 2005)

Diana London works hard in her day job as the city manager of a small South Carolina town. Yet she still finds time to moonlight for the Verdaville Police Department.

As a werewolf.

But while helping the police investigate a brutal murder, Diana discovers she’s not the only magical creature in town. A female vampire has also decided to make Verdaville her murderous playground. What’s worse, she has powers even Diana can’t match.

Fortunately, Diana is not the only one determined to stop her. Llyr Galatyn is the king of the Cachamwri Sidhe – a seductive otherworldly warrior with fantastic abilities. He’s sworn to hunt down the murderer, and he’s more than willing to give Diana any help she needs.

And not just with the case. Diana is in her Burning Moon, a time of sexual heat, when need rides her hard. Llyr is delighted to be the answer to her erotic prayers.

But as they hunt the vampire while desire runs hot between them, a deadly enemy urges the killer to turn her sights on Llyr. It seems Llyr isn’t the only king of the Sidhe – and his brother wants him dead.



Angela Knight's first book was written in pencil and illustrated in crayon; she was nine years old at the time. But her mother was enthralled, and Angela was hooked. In the years that followed, Angela managed to figure out a way to make a living -- more or less -- at what she loved best: writing. After a short career as a comic book writer, she became a newspaper reporter, covering everything from school board meetings to murders. Several of her stories won South Carolina Press Association awards under her real name. For more of Angela’s interesting bio, visit her website:

~ Catherine

More Good News

Well, as they say, "When it rains, it pours." I've got more good news! I can add a novella sale to go along with my two paranormal romance sales to Berkley. My novella, "Street Corners and Halos", will be part of a paranormal anthology about opposites attracting. MaryJanice Davidson, Emma Holly, and Vickie Taylor will also have novellas in the book. How cool is that? My story is about a female vampire, and the hero just happens to be an angel. I'm so excited about this, especially since it's my first anthology. I guess the moral here is don't give up! I had a long dry spell, but I kept writing and submitting. And now . . . well now, I have to write like crazy to meet my deadlines. So I guess "Be careful what you ask for" might also apply here, but I'm not complaining.

Everyone have a fun and safe July 4th.

~ Catherine

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A great book is "Unmasked"

Unmasked is the latest futuristic romance by CJ Barry, and I think it's her best book yet! That's saying a lot since her previous books, Unchained, Unearthed, Unraveled and Unleashed (yes there is 'un'deniably a pattern here) have recieved all sorts of acclaim and won numerous awards (quite a few of them edging out *my* books), and all are wonderful. CJ is definitely one of my favorite futuristic/SF authors. Her heroines are spunky, resiliant and fiercely independent and they always give the hero a run for his money. Not that CJ's heroes are weak--oh, no! They're strong, honorable, hunky men who manage to hold their own with the heroine (but they have to stay on their toes to do it). Her men bring to mind the swashbuckling heroes of the movies (Antonio Banderas in The Mask of Zorro, Brendan Fraser in The Mummy, Viggo Mortensen in LOTR; with a touch of Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt thrown in for hunk value).

Add to that CJ's ability to write amazing action/adventure/romance, and every book is a treasure. Unmasked is no exception. Torrie is a classic kick-ass heroine, and Qaade is a fabulous tortured, honorable, well-muscled hero. CJ tackles some tough subjects in this book (slavery), but her fast-moving stlye, laced with emotion, sexual tension, and action, will keep you enthralled to the very end.

Here's more information on this great book:

UNMASKED by C. J. Barry
Love Spell (Dorchester Publishing), June 7 2005

To the merchants he plunders, he's the Ghost Rider of the Dead Zone. To sector law enforcement, he's a wanted pirate. To the slaves he rescues, he's the savior, laghato. To one determined female, Qaade Deter is serious trouble. Torrie Masters had heard of the legendary raider, but she'd never expected to encounter him. Nor would she have expected that beneath his black mask lurked an enticing man destined to challenge her in ways she couldn't shoot her way out of. But a great threat has emerged-one that's left no choice but for them to join forces. Entrusted with the fate of thousands, Torrie has discovered Qaade's impossible dream. Only she has the power to help him. Only she has the power to see him UNMASKED.

Excerpt: Excerpt

Website: Website

A litle excitement in my life!

As you know, my life is rather bland and normal (okay, so anyone who writes a hero who's half reptile isn't completely normal, but you know what I mean). I guess it would be more accurate to say my life is rather ordinary. But I did have an exciting twenty-four hours a few weeks ago, right after my agent announced my two paranormal sales to Berkley on Publisher's Lunch. A movie production company contacted my agent, asking if the movie rights were available. They wanted to take a look. Roberta replied that we only had a proposal, and they wanted that e-mailed as soon as possible. Oh wow! A movie production company interested in my Sentinel series! With shaking fingers, I sent off the files. I had visions of getting "the Call" (a new and different type of Call). A "We want to option this story for a movie" Call. I was going to make a lot of money (yes, I know movie options can go for surprisingly low amounts), and garner movie credits and be Someone. It was really neat envisioning all this, and it made me feel validated, made all that hard work and hair tearing and head banging seem worthwhile. It was fabulously fun while it lasted. But alas, the very next day, I recieved a polite e-mail, praising the writing, but declining the idea. They said it was too complex to be turned into a movie concept. Deflate, deflate, deflate. Back to my ordinary life. Sigh. But hey, I'm contracted for two paranormal books (and have some more news I'll share in another blog). And you know, I believe I have a single glass slipper around here somewhere . . . I've got to believe the other one will show up sooner or later . . .

~ Catherine

Friday, June 24, 2005

Awaken Me Darkly -- Wow!

Hey all, I know I should be writing, but that's been all but impossible, because I'm in the middle of an incredible book--AWAKEN ME DARKLY, by Gena Showalter. OMG! I can't put it down. All I can say is wow! I love paranormal romances (duh), and I love dark and edgy and emotional, and this book has it all. The heroine, Mia Snow, is totally kick-ass, tough and yet vulnerable at the same time (think Eve Dallas). The hero, a strange and mysterious alien named Kyrin, could rival Roark any day. Let me share a great blurb that will give you a better idea about this awesome book:

AWAKEN ME DARKLY by Gena Showalter
(Pocket Books, June 2005)

In a time and place not too far away, Mia Snow is an alien huntress for the New Chicago Police Department, using her psychic abilities and deadly fighting skills to catch her prey. Heading up her expert team of Alien Investigation and Removal agents, Mia is unmatched at battling the elusive enemy among us, and she’s the perfect girl for the job. She’s seen her brother die at the hands of aliens. She’s earned each of her scars. And she’ll never, ever give up. Now, a series of killings have Mia and her partner Dallas tracking alien suspects – but a sudden blast of violence leaves Dallas fighting for his life.

The chance to save Dallas appears in the form of a tall, erotic stranger. An alien. A murder suspect. Kyrin en Arr, of the deadly Arcadian species, holds the power to heal the injured agent but not without a price. For Mia Snow, that price is surrendering to Kyrin’s forbidden seduction…and embracing their electric attraction. She’s walking a knife’s edge, risking her badge and even her life. The closer she gets to Kyrin, the more Mia learns about her own heart, her human needs – and the shocking secret that will shatter everything she’s ever believed.

You can find more information at Gena's website:

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Hey, all, I'm in the middle of reading a fabulous book by Shanna Swendson. It's Enchanted, Inc. and it's awesome! I've personally known Shanna for about ten years now, and I enjoyed her earlier books from Avalon. She's got a light and fun style that just makes you smile, inside and out. Now Shanna has moved into the chick lit arena with an amazingly ingenious and creative story that she says is a "Harry Potter meets Sex in the City". And she's right. Country girl Katie Chandler moves to the big city of New York, where she discovers that magic really does exist, and goes to work for MSI, a secretive company "manned" by fairies, elves, wizards, ogres, and even a gargoyle. She may be immune to their magic, but she's not immune to the charms of "Mr. Right" a hunky, powerful young wizard. Simply put, this book is magical! I can't wait to see how it ends. Plus, there's going to be a sequel. Move over, Harry! Theres a new girl in town!

Here's more info on the book:

Blurb for ENCHANTED, INC. by Shanna Swendson
(Ballantine Books), May 31, 2005
Shanna Swendson’s debut mainstream novel, ENCHANTED, INC. is a magical story featuring Katie Chandler, a 20something, small-town Texas girl, who finds that being average in New York City is anything but. Katie loves the energy of Manhattan, and if she finds some of the people odd, well, that¹s New York, right? Where else would you see a person on the subway wearing fairy wings? In fact, if Katie wasn’t completely sure those wings must be a costume, she’d think they were real, the way they flutter in the breeze. Certainly the gargoyle that perches above the door of the church she passes on the way to and from work isn’t real. Its eyes seem to follow her, and she could have sworn it winked at her once, but now that she thinks about it, it was really hot that day, and she hadn¹t eaten lunch.... Katie is still adjusting to life in the big city while working a for a nightmare boss, when she gets a fantastic offer to work for a mysterious company, MSI, Inc. Through her new job and the magical folk she meets, Katie comes to find out she isn¹t quite as average as she thought; and the fairytale life she has longed for begins to come true in surprising ways. What Katie doesn’t realize is how rare and important being ordinary can be. In fact, it is her ordinary characteristics that make her the perfect secret weapon for MSI, Inc. Suddenly the very qualities she thought made her average are what make her special! Now she has magicians and fairies meddling in her attempted romances, a secret life she needs to keep hidden from her non-magical friends, not to mention that dangerous pull she feels for Owen, an attractive but shy wizard who might be the most powerful magic man since Merlin.




Be sure and let me know if you enjoyed this book as much as I have. Tomorrow I'm going to share another great book--Awaken Me Darkly by Gena Showalter. So many fabulous books, so little time!

~ Catherine

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

ACFIKAC -- Great Book!

It is my pleasure to share a fabulous book I'm reading. It's A Connecticut Fashionista In King Arthur's Court, or "ACFIKAC", as we in the "biz" like to call it. It's by Marianne Mancusi, who is also an Emmy-award winning news producer, snowboarder, barhopper, table dancer (okay, I made that one up), shopaholic. So who would be better qualified to write a contemporary, designer-clothing-loving, outspoken heroine who mouths off at an ill-natured gypsy and ends up being cursed and sent back in time? (Rhetorical question, but I'll bet you know the answer.)

I'm in the middle of reading this book, and it's hilarious. It's a combination of chick lit and time travel, or as it says on the back of the book, "Sex & The City . . . of Camelot!" The heroine's mental wisecracks are witty and entertaining. Kat is totally engaging, and it's easy to sympathize with her predicament (although I'd have been more likely to throw myself at Lancelot the moment I saw him).

I think the book's blurb does a great job of capturing its essence:

Once upon a time there lived an outspoken fashion editor named Kat, who certainly was not your typical damsel in distress. But when a gypsy curse sent her back in time to the days of King Arthur, she found she'd need every ounce of her 21st century wits (and pop culture references) to navigate the legend. After all, surviving a magical plot, an evil prince, and a case of mistaken identity--all without changing history or scuffing your Manolos--takes some doing!

Luckily, she's got her very own knight in shining armor, Lancelot du Lac, on her side. The honorable-to-a-fault and devastatingly handsome champion insists on helping her out, even though she's not quite sure she wants him to. After all, shouldn't he be off romancing Queen Guenevere or something? Will Kat manage to stay out of trouble long enough to get back to her beloved cafi lattes, cosmopolitans and cashmere? And what will Lancelot's forbidden love mean for the kingdom of Camelot?

You can read a fun excerpt at:

And you can find ACFIKAC at your local bookstore or online. So . . . what are you waiting for? Go forth, buy, read, and enjoy!

~ Catherine

Monday, June 06, 2005

More On Creativity

I know I promised to write more on creativity, except I forgot what I was going to say . . . Geez, that seems to be happening to me a lot lately (nothing to do with my age, okay?). I did want to say that, IMO, creativity can become dormant, like an under-exercised muscle (I have a *lot* of those), and hey, dont' they turn to fat? Oh, great, I have *fat* creativity! But that means it can also be revived, toned up and operating smoothly again. I don't think it's ever completely lost . . . Sorry, I'm listening to the soundtrack from Phantom of the Opera, and I'm getting sidetracked--LOL. Anyway, some tips on creativity:

1) Trust in your creativity. Believe it's there, and will come through for you. (If you build it, they will come, etc.--and if you know what movie I'm quoting from, you're dating yourself!).

2) Don't be afraid to test your creativity, to push the boundaries of it. It's kind of like love--the more people you have to love in your life, the more love you have to give them! The more you stretch your creativity, the more it will respond. It's an amazing example of universal abundance.

3) Use your creative abilities often, hopefully every day.

4) Don't compare yourself, or your endeavors, to others. We all have our own ways of being creative. Yours is unique and should be encouraged to "do it's own thing". Comparisons can lead to negative thinking, and negativity is not condusive to creativity.

5) Celebrate your creativity and your creations! Be proud of the common birthright we all share--the ability to create.

6) To aid in the celebration, be sure to indulge in lots of chocolate (oh, yes, that's very *good* for creativity!)

I definitely need to print out this list and put it by my computer, since I'm guilty of feeling non-creative at times. So thanks for letting me post this reminder for all of us.

Tomorrow, I'll be posting about a *very* fun and creative book, A Connecticut Fashionista In King Arthur's Court, by Marianne Mancusi. Hope you'll check back then. ~ Catherine

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Getting Personal

My son, who's twenty-two and knows a lot more about this blogging business than I do, has informed me that people like to read about personal details in blogs. I guess it's kind of like fiction books--we want to know all about the characters, what makes them tick. We want to care about those characters, become personally involved with them. So this is my "personal" entry . . . Hmmm . . . The problem is, my life is very ordinary. I feel very much like MaryJanice Davidson when she said on our group blog ( "I ain't got nothin". MJ's most interesting event that day was drinking a new brand of orange juice. I think most writers spend their time, well, writing. And many writers also tend to be introverts, so they're generally not attending wild parties and/or orgies. Granted, some of the members of Out of the Blogosphere are adventurous, energetic, and very creative in how they live their lives. But me, I work in accounting in my day job (no creativity there--the government frowns heavily on creativity in accounting and taxes!), and then I come home and write. That's pretty much it (outside of herding cats and dogs and hanging out with my husband).

However, I do get to visit exotic other worlds, lust after hunky alpha males (some of them a little . . . alien), and vicariously experience magnificent adventures, all through my writing or through the books of the many wonderful authors out there. But then I shut down the computer or close the book and return to my ordinary world. I'm not complaining, mind you. Life is good and I've been very blessed. It's just that when it comes to reporting interesting stuff in my blog, there's just not much to tell. I will make a deal, though. If anything exciting or interesting does happen, I'll be sure to "blog it" here. And, as a matter of fact, on June 7, I'll be talking about Marianne Mancusi's very cool (and exciting!) book, "A Connecticut Fashionista In King Arthur's Court", which is now at a bookstore near you. Until then, here's wishing you some excitement!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

News, News, News!

Hey everyone, I have some cool news to report. I've sold two books to Berkley for their Sensation line. These are the first two books in my "Sentinel" series, dark paranormal romances set on current-day earth. I'm really excited about writing a new and different series, and about writing for Berkley. Cindy Hwang is my editor, and she's ultra cool. Ive been doing the happy dance (and eating chocolate and . . . .eating chocolate!). I'll be posting more about the series, but I'll probably write more about creativity in my next blog. ~ Catherine

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Creativity is something that has always fascinated me. It's intangible (although the results are often very concrete), hard to define, see, or measure. It can also be very difficult to tap into at will or channel it, and it often has a mind of its own. Yet it drives all our creative endeavors and affects many aspects of our lives. Over the years, my creativity has run "hot and cold", but I'm convinced of two things:

1) *All* human beings are creative in one way or another. Our creativity might be expressed in different ways (art, music, writing, acting, gardening, decorating, raising children, politics, architecture, medicine, science, sports, etc.-the list is endless), *but* we each have a well of creativity inside us. I believe this creativity is the part of us, along with the soul, that most mirrors God/ Goddess/ Creator/ Supreme Being (pick your own label), just as I personally believe we are all co-creators with our God/ Goddess/ Creator/ Supreme Being, to some extent.

2) We never lose that creativity. It might atrophy and become dormant, but it's always there inside us, and it can be awakened at any time in our lives.

Good thing, too. I've found my own creativity waning over the years. The publishing business is tough (make that *grueling*) and often discouraging (tell you something new, right?). So many aspects of the business are out of our control. Add life in general to the mix, and the creativity can be driven back into the dark recesses of the psyche, seemingly lost in the mad rush of living and surviving. I've got some thoughts about that, too (hey, I'm a writer!). Next blog, hopefully in the near future, I'll discuss creativity some more.

Have a great Wednesday! ~ Catherine

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The "Big Girls" are coming out to play!

Yep, I know I started my blog site four months ago. Yep, I know I haven't posted anything since. But I've always been a slow starter :-) Anyway, now that I'm going to be part of an ultra-cool blogging circuit with some fabulous paranormal romance authors and mega-agent Deidre Knight, I guess I'd better start posting on a regular basis. And who might these fabulous authors be (I'm sure *someone* wants to know!)? They include C.J. Barry, Robin D. Owens, Gena Showalter, Jaci Burton, Marianne Mancusi, MaryJanice Davidson, Angela Knight, and Morgan Hawke, with more to come. Wow! I'm playing with the "big girls" of the paranormal romance genre (what the heck am I doing in this group???). We're going to talk up the industry and tell the world about our books and have an awesome time. So check in often. Very often! Very, very often! I'll be posting again soon.

~ Catherine

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

How did this happen?

Hello! Welcome to my . . . universe. Well, heck. I didn't mean to start a blog . . . at least not yet. Of course, since I'm a major procrastinator, it might have been months, possibly years, before I got around to actually doing a blog. I was still working on making a New Year's resolution not to procrastinate so much--LOL.

Actually, I was trying to post on another blog--that of Vickie Taylor, who's a fabulous author (and who just happens to be one of my multi-talented and amazing critique partners). The system told me I had to sign in first, and then one thing led to another, and, well, here I am.

So I guess I'll be commenting on my writing life (or lack of it, depending on my life) from time to time. When I am writing, I write paranormal romances. I currently have five futuristic romances in print, and I'm now working on some paranormal stories set on current-day earth. While I'm at it, I might even throw in some of the antics of my two dogs, two cats, two almost-adult kids, and husband (I only have one of those).

So do check in from time to time. You can see whether or not I'm sticking to my resolution not to procrastinate (when I get around to making it ).

Here's to a fabulous 2005, filled with good health, peace, happiness, and prosperity.

~ Catherine