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