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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A long but worthwhile note about the internet bastards out to get you

I'm cutting it a little but not much. If you have a site or blog, you should read it. It's from Tina Pavlik at The Romance Studio... and thanks to D. Renee Bagby for pointing it out. It was in my inbox too and I woulda deleted it. (sorry, Tina)

* * *

As many of you are also aware, our very good friends at Coffee Time Romance and More were hacked last week. It was a very serious incident that required the entire site go down and they are still working around the clock to restore it. Coffee Time Romance and More has the full support of all of us here at TRS and we hope yours as well. Like you, we're really looking forward to having them back.

BUT the incident isn't an isolated one. What the hackers are doing is new, there is nothing that can be done to prevent it. I won't go into a lot of technical jargon but these incidents made me think that I really wanted to put some information out there to our community -- anyone with a web site or blog ...

In simple terms, the hackers find a way to get into your web site and then post their wares on it -- usually links to sites where you can illegally purchase prescription drugs, porn sites, and other sites where more than likely, there is malware that can infect your computer if you click on the links. Chances are you won't. That being said, they can also load malware onto your site so that when a visitor arrives to visit you, their computer will be infected with a trojan/virus etc. that can either damage their computer or give the hacker access to that computer remotely. These tactics can be used for many reasons including identity theft.

Add to that the fact that Google bots, the ones that normally crawl your site at regular intervals to index you for the Google search engine, are now looking for malware and if they find it on your site, they will report it to Google. It will also appear as a warning tied to your site on the Google search engine. If this happened to TRS for example, when people googled us, they would see The Romance Studio with the line under the title reading -- "This site may harm your computer." Once your site has been cleared of any malware, you can request for Google to review your site and have that message removed. But it's still another time consuming process and in the meantime, new visitors are told that your site is harmful and chances are they won't come back. Waiting for Google to review your site again can take days or weeks.

What can you do to help keep your site safe? Many of you work with good, reputable web hosting companies and they likely are aware of these things already. But if you maintain your own web site or blog, here are some things you should know and can do to help keep your site as safe as possible.

1) Check your site regularly. I know from visiting many author web sites each day in the running of TRS, I'll see sites that haven't been update for weeks or months -- even when I am in the way of knowing that author has new books out. =) If you aren't paying attention to your site, you have no way of knowing if someone is trying to get in. Pay attention in particular to any area where there is outside user content -- forums, blogs, guestbooks, etc. These are what spammers want to use to post their ill intended junk. These are usually the scripts they can find a hole in to give them access to your entire site. I've seen people get hacked through guestbook scripts mostly but now they are really hitting on site blogs like WordPress and forums very hard.

2) Check your statistics regularly. I have some web clients who are so good at keeping an eye on their stats. This will often give you a warning that someone is looking at your site. Maybe they are really really interested in your books or product but often an abnormal spike in hits can mean hackers are taking a very close look at your site and considering how they may use it. If you see such a spike, keep a close eye on your site and maybe consider changing your passwords. If someone manages your site, let them know immediately.

3) If you use a script on your site like WordPress or any type of web forum or guestbook, please check at least once a week for updates to the script. This is extremely important. Some updates are made because a vulnerability was discovered that a hacker can exploit. When updates come along, install them immediately.

4) Passwords. Even if you change your password often, please don't make it easy for hackers by using a pet name with a number tacked on the end. Any hacker worth his salt can decode FLUFFY09 in less than a minute. A good password should be at least 8 characters long, should be a mix of upper and lower case letters, include numbers, and other symbols if allowed. I know people want to have passwords they can remember but in this day and age, simple passwords are a risk. Come up with a complex password (ex. Mh?>1h#ggAs) and simply write it down and keep this in a safe place. Change your passwords often. Don't share your password with anyone not involved with the management of your site.

5) Check your site to see if Google has picked up malware. As a disclaimer, this isn't to be used as a way to check your site at once quick and easy glance. If you submit your URL using the utility here, it will simply tell you if Google found anything suspicious on your site within the last 90 days. Check this periodically but don't rely on it as a way to keep your site safe. If this utility tells you that your site has been reported for suspicious activity, you've already got a problem. http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2008-05-23-n62.html

6) Back up your site. Many hosting companies will tell you that you get backups. Sometimes it doesn't mean a complete and full copy of your site that you can use to restore it if a hacker gets it. Sometimes it means an image you can look at. Often you CAN get a backup of your complete site from a hosting company but it will cost you extra -- I've seen amounts from $50 - $100. You can take away this worry pretty easily by making a backup of your site on a regular basis. It doesn't take long. If I can back up TRS using plain FTP in about an hour, and it's a pretty large site, you might be able to back up your site in a matter of moments. Backing up your site once a week or once every other week can be a life saver. Also considering keeping a periodic copy on a disk. If you're like me, bad things happen in groups. It would be my luck to have my site hacked and then my computer crash before I could restore it. Take no chances. Make sure you have a viable copy of your site at all times. The more up-to-date, the better.

7) Spam/Spoofing. I get a lot of email from folks interested in our web services asking what they can do about spam and wondering how they got an email from themselves that they didn't send selling Viagra.

How do spammers get your email in the first place? They get them from your site. You'd think this would take a lot of effort but it takes actually very little effort. They use programs called spiders. The programs crawl sites looking for things like @ symbols and tags. They know there's a good chance they'll grab an email address from either of those instances. The program finds that and grabs your email. Your email then goes on the spammer's list. Then it can be shared with other spammers but is often sold on lists to people marketing stuff you don't want (or other spammers). So in a very short period of time, your email can be placed on literally thousands of spammer email lists. And you're right to worry that may mean viruses and harmful things. Only it's not just for your site and your email. What about your visitors? Which brings me to bad thing #2

Spoofing. What's that? Well, once spammers have your email, they don't just use it to send you hundreds of emails. They send out emails saying they are from YOU! They'll send out thousands of emails in a single second peddling viagra and the email might say its from tina@tinapavlik.com. This is very easy to do. They don't need access to your email or your web site. They just plug that email into their program as the "sent by" email. Maybe they'll put in Tina Pavlik as the name or maybe not. That part doesn't matter. What matters is that they are sending emails claiming to be you and there's nothing you can do to stop them. They set things up so they can't be easily traced or reported. That's why they lie and use other people's emails.

Once you're being spoofed, people can report the spam that says its from you. Only ISPs won't take the time to look into the matter to see if you really sent it. Some have automatic reporting systems that are rarely looked at by actual people. The end result? Enough people reporting these emails saying they are from you will get your domain black listed. Black listed means that if AOL black lists you because enough people at aol reported spam that you didn't send but says it's from you, they can keep anyone using AOL as a service or aol browsers from even being able to visit your site or receiving your emails. That's bad. Very bad. And it can take months to get a site white listed again once this happens.

You want to have email without worry? I would suggest doing two things.

First, reconsider having a domain name email. I know that's probably not what you want but if you get another email address (gmail, hotmail, etc), if someone spoofs it as I explained above, it won't have an impact on your web site. They won't black list gmail. TRS got rid of all of its @theromancestudio.com emails last year for this reason. Now if any of our gmail accounts get spoofed or reported? The worst thing that can happen is that we have to get a new email. But TRS itself, the site, won't be reported. It's safe. That's not to say that spoofers can't send out hacker@theromancestudio.com emails anyway and get us reported but we've found that these spoofing incidents dropped dramatically for us when we stopped using a domain name email.

I'd recommend a good free email account from gmail.com, yahoo.com, or hotmail.com. Gmail is my favorite. It's free, offers limitless space, and has a pretty wonderful spam filter. It's very user friendly.

Second, consider getting your email off the site if it is posted there. Does your current web host offer an email form you can place on your site? If so, that's really the way to go. We use forms like this one at Psyche: http://psychedesigns.com/contact.php?firstname=Psyche&lastname=Designs and at TRS. Basically, the script hides the email from the spiders so they can't grab it. Using a secure email form for your new email will start you off right. Since we went to this method, we maybe see 10-15 spam emails in a day. Still annoying but it's a low number all things considered. And with gmail's spam filter, you don't have to sort through the spam to get to the emails you want -- unless you want to. It's still a good idea to eyeball it every couple of days.

Anyway, I hope you find some of this information useful. In the next few days, today we'll be busy changing TRS over for October and we're also scanning all of the sites we take care of in light of these events, we'll be starting a new section of our forums dedicated to hacking issues. I'll bet there are some of you out there with some other good information to offer and I think that sharing of these ideas helps keep us all a little safer.

Remember any of us can hacked at any time. Be vigilant. And let's work together to help keep our sites -- romance or otherwise -- safe.

Thank you!

Tina Pavlik
Owner of The Romance Studio

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

didja miss me?

I sure let a lot of time slide between entries. Oh. Uh oh! Heads up. In late breaking news, my poor kid has more homework than he thought. It is all Allie's fault he tells me. Bad Allie. It's her fault he has to sit on the couch and write and write. But now he's done so he forgives her.

Here's what else is new.

.

.doodly




Where're those post generators when you need them? How about an interview. Sure!

What are you doing, Kate?
listening to Gnarls Barkley with Janice Joplin and Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse to come. The 16-year-old is lining up the play list. I like it.
And I'm writing in my blog

what did you do today?
worked on my mofo Summer Devon page because it needs redoing reupdating etc. Here's some advice: Don't pay for any services way in advance and don't buy big BIG services through an auction. Just saying. This is about the fourth time I've done something like this and while it isn't as bad as when I paid Fwank (aka our Eldon) for jobs around the house, it's not good. Also jeezgawwwwd. I hate webpage stuff. It's so not what I do well. If you knew how long it took me to do my kate page you'd be appalled.

what else was exciting today?
Put JMC's thing in the mail (again) AT LONG FREAKING LAST. And I got a free coffee at Borders. And I finished writing a story. Oh no, I did not pay bills and I know there are some mean nasty charges waiting to rap my knuckles. shit, shit. The dog is clean. This is important. She's still biting her butt, the thoughtless bitch.

what is your five year plan?
More of the same but better paid and better plotted.

What Who are you fretting about?
Jessica Trapp and Margaret.

Huh. This album has a bunch of songs that just...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

promo-fee-fi-fomo and confetti

My birthday was actually awesome. I loved it. So there, depressed gloomy Kate--Just STFU for once.

And now I have to celebrate my new title. That means TEH PROMO!!!! I think this month I'll pump up my mailing list.

Sign up for my newsletter and, if you're one of the first ten to respond, you get a free ebook. Just tell me which freaking book you want. Pick a title from Summer or Kate.

Send your email to katerothwell at gmail dot com. (clicking the little email link on the right works, too)

Put "sign up for newsletter" in subject and in the body tell me which book you want. Unfortunately I have to work on Summer Devon's page. It's way outdated. But pick a title and you'll get the ebook. I'm talking old and new titles--ebooks only.

And SEE? This is Easy-peasy! And I promise never to give your name to anyone else and to only to write to you when I have a new book out--a few times a year, in other words. I sometimes even include a recipe with my newsletter and it's usually an awesome thing featuring chocolate.

Much of the following is excerpted from my latest newsletter...

Hey, but before that, did I ever put this in the blog? I waited until the RT issue was off the stands. Anyway, it's the 4.5 star review from Thank You, Mrs. M from Romantic Times.

"This is a sweet, funny and emotional tale. This modern take on Daddy-Long-Legs, by Jean Webster, has wonderful, fully developed characters. The brief mention of sexual and drug themes contributes to the gritty reality of the character's world. This incredible story will appeal to adult as well as young readers.

But that was my book from last summer. Now we're talking about the latest release and that's not PG rated. Here's a quickie description:

That guy you glanced at…the one you thought was so gorgeous. What do you do when you’re suddenly seeing what he’s seeing, feeling what he’s feeling, and it’s all hot, sweaty and very R-rated?

Gia’s life takes a turn for the bizarre when she develops a connection with construction worker Will, and the connection is all sexual. Not only can she see and sense his fantasies, he can visit hers too. And for two strangers, they begin to have some pretty intimate daydreams about each other. Anger, and concern about the sudden onset of shared insanity, are thrust to the wayside when Gia and Will finally meet and find that even outside the fantasies, they can’t keep their hands off each other.

Some kind of weird lust is driving them—to mutually orgasmic results. While Gia’s loving it, Will just wants a normal life, but soon realizes they might never turn down the heat and return to normal again. And craziness aside, does he really want the “cure” if it means losing Gia?

Love it or hate it**, the cover to Irrational Arousal is memorable. Here's a link to the story! and another link to the excerpt.

In other news, I've recently co-written a couple of books with Bonnie Dee and we sold one of our titles to Liquid Silver. I think it'll be out in February.

______

**I think I feel both. Mostly I love you guys.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

happy mother freaking birthday to me, warning: self pity party ahead

well, almost---my birthday's tomorrow.

so.

For my birthday eve tonight I got a letter from my agent saying she thinks it's a good idea to part ways. I hope it's okay to post it because really? It's a great letter. And here's what else is good about this situation. She never dodged my notes (well, a tiny bit toward the end, but hardly noticeable) She came right out and cut our losses. A quick band-aid pull does the trick.

Attention professionals! Take a lesson from her and write. It might well be a template---I was going to say form letter but that sounds snarky and really, why not have a template? every agent should have this sort of letter on file. Please, please use it instead of the passive aggressive death-wait I've heard about. That's when agents freeze out authors by ignoring emails until the authors give up. The agents end up the dumped instead of the dumpers.

Here's the letter:
This is a difficult email for me to write, but I think it's
necessary at this point, unfortunately. **

I've taken time this summer to reflect on where my business is headed and my
goals for the future. I've been thinking also about my various authors and
how their work fits into my overall plan, my available time, and my ability
to steer them in the right direction for their careers. I have limited time
and a lot of great authors on my list who all deserve my time and attention.
Some authors' work is selling, and I've really been able to help them break
through, and there are others who, no matter how much I try, don't seem to
quite be gelling with publishers, or at least haven't yet been able to make
it in the mainstream market.

You came up as one of the people I really like working with, but whose work
just doesn't seem to be hitting in the mainstream marketplace -- or maybe
not yet. I think you're hugely talented and have a lot of drive and great
ideas, but I'm afraid I haven't been able to help you hit the right notes
with your work and I'm starting to feel that my efforts are not going to be
what you need to become successful. It's been a source of some frustration
for me, and I'm sure for you as well, that we can't break in with your stuff
- I think it's original and very entertaining, and as far as I'm concerned
SHOULD be selling. So, I'm sorry to say that probably the best thing for
both of us is for us to part ways and for you to find an agent who will have
the vision that I seem to lack to take you to the next level.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to talk about this -- I'm
happy to advise you on how to proceed if you like, and in any case I really
have enjoyed working with you and wish you nothing but the best in the
future

I must say I've had good luck with agents. Not with sales or, at least, agented sales but when I hear stories about dodgy agents.... well . . .I have loved mine.

except now they've all said goodbye to me. They've cut me loose.

. . . And now I'm going to go feel very, very, VERY sorry for myself and like a complete and utter failure a hasbeen a nevergonna be and and omigod, I feel wretched and old. Did I mention that this is my birthday and I'm FIFTY. Oy. That's why I'm making such a song and dance about the birthday thing. It's a biggy. Fifffffffteeeeeeeeeeeee. Jesus.

Please don't point out that the alternative is worse or I'll come sit on you.

______________
**blogger made it look like a poem. It didn't come to me in that form, but I think I'll leave it the way it is. I like it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

trouble ahead

I've been here before. Little signs of trouble, like long empty pauses followed by more waiting. And then, instead of predictable behavior, a swift and sudden shift into something unexpected. Something dark and forbidding.

and then there's the occasional weird squealing sound when it starts up.

After months of dealing with sluggishness and the occasional blue screen I was ready for something new, clean and fast. I got a potential lemon.

I could wait for all the signs to get worse or just live with the glitches. But, like I said, I've been here before. I survived the long dark period of the Dell that Dumped Documents.

I don't want to live in Unreliable Laptop Land ever again. I refuse to wait on hold with technicians for hours. I won't go back to those months of asking them to repeat themselves one more time because their impenetrable accents or rapid instructions--or both. I have no interest in hearing them call me Margaret over and over and listening to them offer profuse apologies for my anger and disappointment--while doing nothing to cure either.

I'm sending this sucker back. Restocking fee be damned, I want a new one without having to go through months of my life hearing "Can you do this for me, Margaret? Will you push this button and wait?"

Monday, September 21, 2009

why no SBD?

I have three full novels I want to read on my computer and can't open any of them. One is by Linda, one is by Charlene and one is by a perfect stranger.

I can't get this stupid machine to work, so I'll write my own novel instead.

Speaking of trapped by an inhuman machine, I'm listening to two books by authors whose work I loathe but can't leave. I can't quit their stupid series. Hatred roils through me but I can't hit pause.

In unrelated news, JMC, if you happen by here? There's a good reason you didn't get your prize package--the reason is my assistant's utter incompetence and let's just leave it at that. You'll get it soon.

Other than my dog, I have no assistant.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I woke up depressed about my writing career (specifically how few copies of my books you people are buying) but found Beth had sent a one of the best snarky notes ever about my latest cover and that cheered me right up. I wish I could post all of the comments I've gotten about the cover (YMCA! YMCA!). But really, I should be pushing the book, right? I should be waxing enthusiastic.

Consider the enthusiastic all waxed and buffed. Speaking of being in the buff. Here's the new cover!


Reason number 3 I should cheer up about my writing career: I may not be selling books but at least I remember to put on clothes when I go to work.

And here's the description of IRRATIONAL AROUSAL:

That guy you glanced at…the one you thought was so gorgeous. What do you do when you’re suddenly seeing what he’s seeing, feeling what he’s feeling, and it’s all hot, sweaty and very R-rated?


Gia’s life takes a turn for the bizarre when she develops a connection with construction worker Will, and the connection is all sexual. Not only can she see and sense his fantasies, he can visit hers too. And for two strangers, they begin to have some pretty intimate daydreams about each other. Anger, and concern about the sudden onset of shared insanity, are thrust to the wayside when Gia and Will finally meet and find that even outside the fantasies, they can’t keep their hands off each other.


Some kind of weird lust is driving them—to mutually orgasmic results. While Gia’s loving it, Will just wants a normal life, but soon realizes they might never turn down the heat and return to normal again. And craziness aside, does he really want the “cure” if it means losing Gia?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I must be in a mood. But at least this one's not about rape.

I was in the mall today for the first time in years. I used to take my kids when they were little so they could ride the elevator and escalator. Up and down. Down and up. Hours, they'd go on the stairs and the little glass elevator. They loved it. The place was air conditioned; it was free; it was close. We'd buy a single cookie and divide it into four.

Here's the thing. The people I went with have no memory of those trips. Or practically any other. They have no memory of thousands of hours--the years of life we shared. Those people are long gone.

When I think of that, I suddenly felt a little lost--that sensation you get when you remember times of shared love and laughter ....and you realize that you are the only one still alive who remembers those particular incidents. And then I realized that with each passing year, there will be more and more memories like that until there's virtually nothing but the ghosts.

I just said something along these lines to Mike.

He points out that the times the boys and I shared are in their DNA. They don't remember doing all those trips, those pictures, those silly games, but the times are part of who they are. I like that. I don't feel it at the moment. But I like it. He says, "but be my guest, feel all lost and lonely if you want."

Just like him. One moment say something sweet and then blow it by being ubersnark. Sheesh.

Okay. I don't want to feel autumnal. I think I'll do some more Burn Notice instead. Escapist television, take me away. . . But now the pain of loss is lodged in me and I'll have to wait until it melts in its own sweet time. Wait out the sorrow. Sloughing off doesn't come easy in the autumn. Ugh.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Yo. Do it.




Support my efforts!


Click on that image above. . . Put "Kate" and "Rothwell" and "Connecticut" into the search engine and you'll find me. If you give CFF money through that link I'll give you either a Summer Devon ebook or a copy of Thank You, Mrs. M.

since we're talking rape, just semantics, mind you. Not judging here.

So I read about the sicko mom who seduced her own kid. Ptui. Yuck. Rotten mom. Poor kid. But it got me thinking about the word rape again. The news media call it rape. Sounds like she seduced and deceived him. Not a happy scenario by any means, but not violent.

I think of rape as a violent word, like knifing. So when it's used in that case and with "statutory rape" it just seems a bit.....off. Like there should be another word for what goes on in those cases.

I wonder if someone who's been raped as in forced by someone to have sex against her (or his) will reads about statutory rape and thinks, that's not rape. It just doesn't share anything with the violent act of rape except sex and (sometimes) taking advantage of another (0ccasionally weaker) person.

Or is it like the word "thief" which could mean anything from someone stealing your half-eaten candy bar to someone breaking into your house, beating you senseless and stealing everything you own? No, see, I didn't want to talk about degrees of harm because (especially if it's handled wrong) that first case really is horrible. But it doesn't seem like rape.

Anyway. Maybe there should probably be more words out there for this stuff. And maybe I should get to work.

SBD dents in the wall

Over at Karen's, Azteclady (whom I MET! Really! She epitomizes cute-as-button) is talking about how she can't read rape scenes. Can't tolerate them. I mentioned how I can't take dead babies in books, but that's not true any more.

Just now I recalled last month I read a fantasy in which a father looks down at his infant son one moment and, in the next, he tosses Junior into a river. Dad rides off, thinking about what he wants for breakfast.

I read that scene and kept going. In fact that whole book has a fair chunk of violence. A few years ago, I would have been fine with the rapes and suicides until we got to the baby. Then I would have imitated dad and lofted that book right over my shoulder. I have developed a high tolerance for fictional violence--at least in small doses.

It's the non-fictional violence that brings on nausea fast. I can read it without hyperventilating but looking at it second-hand, face to face....Oy.

Just that million mile look in someone's eye, when they're about to narrate what happened to their families after the soldiers arrived. ....and I'm checking out. I'm nodding and maybe making appropriate noises but I do Not. Want. To. Hear. In fact it's been a couple of years since I've heard one of those stories and I'm still getting that oh, shit, it's happening again feeling and that's just thinking about what I heard.

A few years ago, I couldn't read the nasty fiction. But I could formulate the right response to refugees stories and even gently probe about what happened when it seemed like they wanted to talk.

Ten years of listening to those stories and the situation was reversed. Now fiction is fine. Kill off an entire planet, all the inhabitants one by one, make me watch the process, and I have no problem with it.

But when it's the truth. Umm. Cue Jack Nicholson thundering at me "You can't handle the truth." I'm nodding right along with Jack...and in almost all of those cases? No one should have to.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Stuff

A. Summer has a book coming out in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS! OmiGAWD.
1. It's Irrational Arousal
2. when I Google Irrational Arousal to see if it's listed on Ellora's Cave site yet. (No, it's not) I find people using that phrase as a nifty psychiatric term.
2a. Arousal in those examples seems to mean anger, nothing more interesting.

B. my current historical is giving me fits, again.
1. I think I have to dump the whole second part and rethink the plot
2. I keep wanting other people to help but then going naawwww I don't think so when they make suggestions.
3. God, I hate that thing.

C. I've abandoned it to
1. start another historical.
2. and go make an ass of myself here.
2a. I'd link to the actual thread but then I might be tempted to comment, again, and we're all sick of the subject by now.
UPDATED :
2b. HEY THIS IS WAY COOL! I clicked on my own link and saw azteclady put up a review of Bonnie Dee's latest book A Hearing Heart. YAY! That is most definitely not the thread I was talking about. I love that book. Looks like Azteclady does too. That thread is worth going to directly.
3. check to see if there are more reviews of Jane L's non-existent book over at dear author. I'm loving those.
4. watch the first season of Burn Notice.
4a I have become a Burn Notice addict.
5. hide the chocolate from my sons and husband.
6. eat it when they're not looking.

Friday, September 11, 2009

a visit from a few days ago.....

every now and then my neighbor borrows some books. He's got eclectic taste, but he doesn't much like romance. Ha. That's what he said.

my neighbor, handing me back a book: I want more books from this author.

me: hey, what a coincidence, me too. good suspense, eh?

neighbor: yeah, how many more books does she have out.

me: Yo, G, did you notice it's a romance?

neighbor: sure. I got it. I want more books by her. She have more books?

me: she has another one coming out any minute I think. And I bet she'll have more coming after that because she's getting pretty good press.

neighbor: really? I've never heard of her.

me: well, she's not getting it in this country. And sorry I don't have her next book.

neighbor: oh. Well. Let me know. I guess I can buy her next copy.

me: good luck on that. As far as I know, it's not going to be for sale in this country.

neighbor: wtf?

me: she's Australian.

neighbor: I got that. Jeez. But not available here? Not even on amazon?

me: nope. At least I don't think so

neighbor: That's just not right.

me: yeah, that's what I think too.

........fast forward to today. And look, someone else who apparently doesn't think much of standard romance likes her, too.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm on the radio in ohio

you can hear me, It's in the archives already. Click on the "talk at ten" link (on the right side. "community radio at its best!") and then on "Thursday."

Do this in internet explorer because it won't work in firefox.

I listened to a lot of the interview and, naturally, of course, duh..... all I can hear are my mistakes.

I mean, dude, one of my freaking CRIT partners just got a multi-book offer from an ebook publisher. And what's this about agents not caring about ebook because there's no advance? Bull hockey. Ebooks don't require you to be agented that's why people don't bother. Oy.

And the word is NOT epistemological. I'm too busy now to find WTF word I did mean. A collection of letters. That format. Whatever it's called.

That's enough. I have to go clean up the kitchen before the stove repair man shows up.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

TUESDAY

The following is a public service announcement: today's TUESDAY. TUESDAY. NOT MONDAY.

It's also a reminder to myself to go to Borders to write. I'll probably be the only one there. My homies are all busy. Kat, Kath, Wendy, Natalie, Jon, etc. It's amazing how fast I've become addicted to having someone sitting at the table typing (or scribbling) at the same time. I hope someone is there to keep me from wandering over to the fiction section.

Also I'm insecure again--it's showing up in my dreams lately:
1.I'm leaving high school or some other huge ending and no one says goodbye. (a recurring dream)

2.I go to facebook and find everyone's unfriended me (last night's dream. even in my dream I thought now this is pathetic)

3. I show up for a party/event/meeting and no one is there because they moved it without telling me. (another recurring dream. Sometimes the reason I'm not told is malicious, usually it's because I'm not important enough to inform)

4. There's something terribly important happening, I can sense that it is vital, but when I ask people they don't know and don't care. Turns out, I'm dying and I really ought to pay attention to these things. Sheesh. (that might be a "dang I'm forgetful" dream vs. "dang I'm insecure about my place in the world" dream)


That's fine. Everyone has to have echoes of middle school now and then as long we don't have to live in That Place.

I have a sense that I've been reading too many romances / best sellers in which a character's position in the world is of major importance. Not just your profession, but your rank in any social circle. Gawd. Get me away from the black and white of that world into some gray again.

At least I also dreamed I was swimming last night. Lots and lots of swimming in cold water and ducking under waves. Felt good and had nothing to do with abandonment.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

and also




Support my efforts!


Click on that image above. . . Put in "Kate" and "Rothwell" and "Connecticut" and you'll find me. If you give CFF money through that link I'll give you either a Summer Devon ebook or a copy of Thank You, Mrs. M.

I think

--there should be more books with crumbling bureaucracies in them. I'm in the mood for one.

--maybe another few books with curmudgeon wizards.

--but a limit should be put on the number of vampires written....

--there will have to be a law because otherwise the vampiric numbers will keep swelling. The manager of a bookstore told me that all the teenagers who loved Twilight are moving up to the adult market.

--I should be more famous. Not a lot more famous, just enough to sell a bunch of books. I take it back--my books should be famous enough to sell without my help.

--someone other than me should wash the damned dog every now and then.

--my oldest son should write or call more often. (oh god! oh god! I wasn't going to be one of those, but ohhhhhhh it's toooooooo late)

--summer should last longer than winter but spring should last longest of all, damn the pollen.

--one ought to be able to drink as much coffee as one wants with no consequences or, if they want the jolt to stay awake, we ought to have special cups. Like when coffee hits a white mug the caffeine is activated. Other colors, not so much.

--Terry Pratchett should be given a reprieve so he could write at least ten more books.

--this time thing should slow the hell down. My birthday is next month and while it isn't the big one for my twin, Doug, it sure as hell is for me.

--I should get off this bed before I fall asleep.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

random

Over at Beth's, the phrase that pays: "Yummier than a sloppy fuck." Beth refers to some mighty fine coffee, but I see some old lady bellowing that after a bite of casserole. (Tuna casserole, of course.)

Speaking of embarrassing the children, I'm going to be at a signing today (Saturday, Sept 5th) at 2 pm. at the Farmington, Connecticut Borders. That's the one near the Dunkin Donuts--not the one in the mall. There will be me and a passel of other writers. Yay us! Jessica Andersen is the most famous in our group.

I'm going to haul along all my Summer Devon titles because I'm suspicious about this signing. I'm listed as Kate Rothwell and I'm not even sure I still have a book in print under that name. I haven't checked in a while because when I check myself I just get cranky. Last I looked, Somebody to Love was still in print but that was last year. A hundred years in the book world.

But hooo-boy, do I have a lot of Summer Devon titles. I should take a picture of them all. The covers tend to be blurry and brown. An elegant sort of a brown--burnished.

If you come see me today, maybe I'll give you SD title. I won't be able to sell it anyway. (Not in the bookstore's stock)

Friday, September 04, 2009

I lifted this picture from facebook

and what I want to know....is this bacon/toast construct Stonehenge? Because that would be awesome.


More food should be based on Stonehenge.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

It's for your Own Good. I'm telling you.

I'm at erotic muses today, telling you about But here's a change from my usual UYS nag.

If you're not interested in investing in signing up to do UYS and you don't want to bother with goal setting, you can still help AND win a prize.


Anyone who donates through my link can win a Summer Devon download book. Yup. Donate at least ten dollars to my group--and you can pick the title. It's easy to do. Go to that link, look for "Kate Rothwell" as a participant and CFF will help you do the rest.

Of course if you do decide to go sign up and get to work with your own fundraising, you'll be eligible for some great prizes. Seriously. Look at this (lifted straight from the UYS page)

  • For each $100 earned (up to $500) you will receive a free book.
  • Win a $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Certificate for bringing in at least 15 donors of 5 dollars each during the first week.
  • Watch for special incentives announced each week during the event.
  • The top five money earners will receive a choice of our special prizes
  • Special weekly prizes for top Pages and Words (most pages read/words written).

Special hit the ground running first week incentive!

First week only! Get 15 donors of at least $5 each by September 7, you will receive a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card (good at BN.com or Barnes & Noble stores).

Week 2 super-charge the donation leader incentive!

Second week only! A $25 Starbucks gift card for the participant with the highest total dollars raised as of September 14. We want to be sure our top dollar raiser has all the caffeine he or she needs to keep the pace for the entire event!

$100 Books!

For each $100 in donations raised (up to $500) participants will receive one free book!

Multiple copies available of most books.** Indicates last copy claimed by winner.

Title Author Signed? Format
Nothing But Scandal Allegra Gray Yes Paperback
Hot Stuff
Flo Fitzpatrick Yes Paperback
Lords of Desire
Virginia Henley, Sally MacKenzie,Victoria Dahl, and Kristi Astor No. Trade Paperback
The Naked Marquis
Sally MacKenzie Yes Paperback
The Naked Earl
Sally MacKenzie yes Paperback
Unlaced
Kristina Cook Yes Paperback
Unveiled
Kristina Cook Yes Paperback
Undressed
Kristina Cook Yes Paperback
To Love a Scoundrel
Kristina Cook Yes Paperback
Love is All Around
Lori Devoti No Paperback
Love is All You Need
Lori Devoti No Paperback
Unbound
Lori Devoti Yes Paperback
Guardian’s Keep
Lori Devoti Yes Paperback
Wild Hunt
Lori Devoti Yes Paperback
Holiday with a Vampire II
Merline Lovelace and Lori Devoti No Paperback
Midnight Cravings
Nocturne Bite Anthology No Trade Paperback
Dark Crusade
Lori Devoti Yes Paperback
Amazon Ink
Lori Devoti Yes Paperback
Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance
Alyssa Day, Sherrilyn Kenyon, et al. No Trade Paperback
His Captive
Diana Cosby No Paperback
Never Resist Temptation
Miranda Neville Yes Paperback
Living the Vida Lola
Misa Ramirez
Yes Hardcover
First there is a River
Kathy Steffen Yes Paperback
Jasper Mountain
Kathy Steffen yes Paperback
What a Gentleman Wants
Caroline Linden yes Paperback
What a Rogue Desires
Caroline Linden Yes Paperback
A Rake’s Guide to Seduction
Caroline Linden Yes Paperback
A View to a Kiss
Caroline Linden Yes Paperback
Lessons from a Courtesan
Jenna Petersen Yes Paperback
No One Heard Her Scream
Jordan Dane Yes Paperback
Into His Arms
Paula Reed Yes Paperback
Tempt the Devil
Anna Campbell No Paperback
His Wicked Sins
Eve Silver No Paperback
Seduced by a Stranger
Eve Silver Yes Paperback
Demon’s Kiss

Eve Silver
Yes paperback
Demon’s Hunger
Eve Silver Yes Paperback
Nature of the Beast
Hannah Howell, Adrienne Basso, Eve Silver yes Paperback
The Virgin’s Secret
Victoria Alexander yes Paperback
A Little Bit Wicked
Victoria Alexander yes Paperback
Faeries Gone Wild Mary Janice Davidson, Michele Hauf, Lois Greiman, Leandra Logan, yes Paperback
The Highwayman Michele Hauf yes Pbk

Top money earners and special incentives:

Top Money Earner

Hug a Cowboy readers lap quilt.

Hug-a-cowboy

This beautiful handmade quilt features hunky cowboys at its center and a colorful design. Bound to keep you warm when you curl up with a good book.

Other top money earners and weekly special incentives:

2 $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Cards donated by Teresa Bodwell.

$25 B&N Gift Card donated by Sandy Blair.

Talion Two Pack! Get the first two Talion books from Alexis Morgan. Dark Warrior Unleashed and Dark Warrior Unbroken.

Unleash Your Story tote bags.

Necklace: Medallion by Premier Designs, donated by Lori Devoti.

Back to top.

~Book baskets and sets~
Be a Naked Reader with a set of Sally Mackenzie Naked books: The Naked Duke, The Naked Marquis, The Naked Gentleman and The Naked Baron.
Regency/Edwardian Tote donated by Kristina Cook/Kristi Astor filled with Unlaced, Unveiled, Undressed, To Love a Scoundrel, Lords of Desire, a copy of E.M. Forster’s classic novels A Room With a View and Howard’s End, a Jane Austen action figure, and a Celtic Spice sports bottle
60th Anniversary Harlequin Bag This bag from RWA National Conference 2009 is sure to become a collectors item with with its beautiful historic cover art. To make it more fun, we’ve filled it with a dozen Harlequin books including books donated by Merline Lovelace, Elle James, Geri Kotrow, and Christyne Butler. Click for a complete list of titles.
Pacesetter Michelle Buonfiglio is offering 2 “Pick Your Sub-genre 12 packs.” The winner will receive a dozen books from the romance sub-genre of the winner’s choice (historical, contemporary, paranormal or romantic suspense).