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Monday, February 28, 2011

writing stuff

I've been looking for judges for a contest (this one) and I swear to god, editors and agents are running for cover when I ask them. I visualized the standard image involving those scurrying cockroaches the second after I throw the kitchen light switch on, but that's hardly fair. If we're going for cliches let's say the editor is a camel with way too many umbrellas, waterbottles, Gladstone bags and bird cages hanging on her hump and apparently my request is a straw. She sees it coming and knows that her spine is in danger. She runs when she hears my voice.

Anyway. It's been a lot worse than usual. Many of those editors are not even bothering to return my calls and notes with a "no thank you." I've hunted the editors for this contest about four? years? and never had so much trouble.

Maybe it has nothing to do with the cash-strapped employee-dumping industry so that one person is now doing the job that used to belong to six. Maybe it's my breath.

Aaaand speaking of popularity contests and books, I have an ebook coming out tomorrow. Have a blog? Want to review it? You may even call it foul names. I can take the heat. Let me know and I'll send you a copy.

Rosalie’s well-ordered life is disturbed after she inherits a powerful aphrodisiac but she’s even more unsettled by her response to the rugged man who offers to help her dispose of the dangerous powder.

Here's a historic note about the story: the secondary character, Walter Clermont, is based on anonymous Victorian author of My Secret Life (whose adventures took place a few years earlier, I know).

I'd do an SBD but it would be all whiney, and not even fun whining either. Maybe tomorrow I can go on about how much I dislike someone else's book while trying to get you all to buy mine.

Monday, February 21, 2011

SBD but first pretty covers again



I'm reluctant to blog because that would push my covers down. So wait, let me post them again and then get on with blogging.

P of L = MARCH 1
MB = Release... soonish, not sure when.





Okay. SBD. I just listened to most of a John Grisham, The Confession. It was all about the execution of an innocent man. I can't imagine listening to that thing if I had any pro-death penalty leanings. I'd be screaming at the thing the whole time. No! No!

I admit, I figured out what was going to happen, and skipped ahead so maybe I missed the emotional wallop.

It was relentless. The writing was interesting because it wasn't what you're supposed to do. A gazillion POVs, no brilliant prose, clunky, lots to telling (not showing). It all seemed to add up to a style of nonfiction as if he was filling some kind of a report. And that worked for what he was doing -- writing a areyoufuckingkiddingme? screed about the death penalty, at least as it's carried out in Texas.

But now, either something uplifting or junky. It's too February out there and now I want a book without death in it. I'm waiting for the Kim Harrison book--released tomorrow--but I imagine it'll be a big mess too. The last couple have been big swirly messes, but I'm not giving up on them yet. Still too much fun.

Seriously, I want something with more fluff. That'll go on my tombstone: More fluff, dammit!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

my (other) new cover!







For the book coming out March 1 at Loose Id.


Rosalie Ambermere’s well-ordered life is disturbed after she inherits a powerful aphrodisiac -- but she’s even more unsettled by her response to the man who offers to help her dispose of the dangerous powder
.

cover by the talented Ann Cain

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Selling!

Some poor sales guy is making selling phone calls here in Borders. He's been at it more than an hour and I know all about his gym's classes and hours. I forgot my headphones. There are a lot of us at work here. Maybe they should set up some cubicles here. They could sell space instead of books.

Speaking of sales, Rob managed to get
Someone to Cherish** up at Fictionwise--and for a little while it's at a discounted price of $2.16. So now you can buy the book at
Smashwords,
Allromanceebook,
Amazon and
fictionwise.


If you buy it at fictionwise or all romance ebooks, you're allowed to click on a review button. Just saying. And writing reviews at Amazon is easy-peasy. Yup.

_________

**I got it right this time, Toni.

trends on the blogs plus meandering junk

What's with all the teapots? I'd run out and buy one too, but I have 2? 3? already. That's what happens when you have a sister who's a potter. It's my own fault of course.

Standard Q&A:
Sister: What do you want for your birthday/Christmas/whatever present?
Me (or Mike): Duh, a pot!

I might not be getting a new teapot like all the cool kids are, but I could still take a picture of some of my (her) pots, particularly my favorite freckled teapot. Its spout is broken but it still pours. Then I could feel part of the in-crowd.

In other blah-it's-February news: This house is too cold. The dog is depressed. I still can't see over the top of the snowdrift when I'm backing out of the driveway. It's pure luck no one's smacked into my car as I inch out into the world.

Right, enough of this. I'm going to Borders to work, where I'll be editing another Bonnie and Summer m/m. This one's set in 1902.

Maybe Linda I will be filled with sunshine and we'll get to work with a glad and merry heart.

Monday, February 14, 2011

back for a Promo SBD


But listen, it's a good book so you should read it. Especially if you like slightly different historicals. The way the two of them communicate is my favorite part of the story.

I think Wendy the Superlibrarian should try this one.


It's Bonnie Dee's
Captive Bride.

I coerced Bonnie into doing a special V-Day post for me. Here's what she wrote:

It’s Valentine’s Day. What are you doing?


My husband and I are not romantic by nature. We’re both pragmatic people, but it works for us. I’d much rather buy my own Christmas or birthday gifts and get exactly what I want. I just bought a Kindle this past week and told my husband we should call that a Valentine’s gift. Works for me.


But he’s a funny guy. His mother was the kind who appreciated romantic gestures and big schmoopy cards on the holidays and I think that shaped him because he almost always buys me an oversized, embossed extravaganza of a Valentine card. Does that act become unromantic because they’re the type of cards Mom would’ve wanted, not me? Naw. I think it’s pretty endearing. It’s just a part of who he is and what we are together which has worked for twenty-five years so why mess with it? Maybe he thinks those schmoopy cards are good for my dry soul. Maybe he’s right.


Funny somebody like me should write romance, right?


Anyway, Kate has allowed me to hijack her blog [she says hijack, I say coerced. So much force today] today on this most romance-reader friendly of days to announce the release of my latest Carina Press book. Captive Bride is an extremely romantic story and a perfect Valentine gift for yourself. Try it. You’ll like it. It’s better than gorging on chocolate.

Here’s what Captive Bride is about…


San Francisco, 1870

Huiann arrives in America expecting to be wed to a wealthy businessman. She no sooner disembarks from the ship than she realizes Xie is not looking for a bride: Huiann is worth more to him as a high-end prostitute. Though her fate is better than that of other Chinese women forced into the sex trade, she has no intention of waiting for Xie to sell her virginity to the highest bidder.


At the first opportunity, she escapes and disappears into

the city.


When a beautiful woman takes refuge in his store, Alan's life changes forever. He's spent the last five years trying to forget the horrors of war, and had almost given up hope of finding love. He hires Huiann as his housekeeper, and though they can only communicate through signs and sketches, they quickly form a bond that transcends the need for words.


But Xie is determined to recover his property, and love may not be enough to protect Huiann from his vengeance.


* * * * *



Here's an excerpt.

Yay! SBD later....but first:





Gave us













for




















Only whoops, first they sent the note to Marie Treanor saying Congrats BONNIE AND MARIE!** It's not a complete mystery why they'd think of that author combo--Bonnie and Marie do write some really fun books together. ****

Hey. I have absolutely no problem with being mistaken for Marie Treanor. On my good days, I aspire to be Marie Treanor.

***

Oh, whoops, again (me, this time). Edited to put up the book that actually won.

_______________

**and if you now have one of the greatest hits of Donny and Marie stuck in your head, you're welcome.

**** Oh! Another update with another reason cataromance might have mixed it up: Marie and Bonnie also won a 2010 Best Of Award for this book.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why I Survive as A Writer

It takes me about five minutes to get over a rejection. Here's the process.

0 minute: Okay that's it! That's I'm never sending you people another manuscript to reject! You hate me! It's not just my books, but you've rejected [3-10] of my stories, you hate ME! What have I ever done to you that you should hate me so?

1 minute: I wonder if I have anything else I could send them? No! No! Never again.

2 minutes: But that other story is pretty good, maybe it'll work? No? No. >sigh< three, four, five, six rejections? Can't you get the message, Rothwell?

Give it a rest.

3 minutes: Maybe a chocolate muffin would make me feel better.

3.5 minutes: But you had birthday cake yesterday. No chocolate for you, Kate. Damn you, publisher! It's your fault I want chocolate!

4 minutes: I can get some more coffee though. That'll work.

4.5 minutes: and maybe I should get to work on that other manuscript. Hey, maybe THAT one will work for the publisher---?
NO! No. Didn't you hear me? Give it a rest.

5 minutes: Okay, back to work.

5.5 minutes: Although, maybe. . . . . . there's this other place that might work for the manuscript. They've only rejected me two, three four times.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

middle school teacher experiences

Not mine (I could never do this) but a friend's. How do you deal with middle school obsession with sex and penises?

example one: Upon finding a penis drawn on the margins of an English book.
1. Have a fit and put the entire class in detention
2. Hold up the book (with the approximately 1/2" penis) to show the class and say "Look, a life size self portrait."

example two: A kid screams at you, "Johnny's gonna give me a blow job this weekend."
1. Send both kids to the counselor's office.
2. Say, "Well, that gives you something to look forward to, doesn't it."

watching that Shirley and Jenny story again

Don't anthropomorphize animals. I heard that all the time and believed it for years. Don't put human motivations and intentions into their actions.

Except there's no choice when it comes to emotion and elephants -- because what else can you do? I swear to god, they make human emotional bonds look puny. Go look up Shirley and Jenny and the elephant sanctuary if you haven't seen them already. I'd post the video but I can't find a short copy.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

crabkate

ever notice how I have to trot out the bad out first? With every critique or experience, right off the bat, I have to say what I didn't like. This has to mean all the places my blog shows up as only the first two lines** it seems like I've got nothing but a big old whine fest happening here.

Speaking of criticism, are you watching the stupor bowl? I haven't been but I did catch the one ad where everyone wished they were happy as ........ It was a sublime ad and it was straight from a kids' open-the-flap book where each animal wishes to be another animal (I have no idea what the book was called. But I also have no idea what the ad was for). It wasn't as flashy and expensive as some of the ads I've caught sight of but it was good. The ads are way more creative than the actual show bits I've seen.

______
**anywhere that's possible, I make those links, like goodreads and amazon. Promotion! Promotion! Promotion! The idea is not so much that my name(s) are linked to anything good or interesting, but just that my name(s) are all over the damn place.

SBD early Going Bovine

I wasn't sure if this book held together. I'm still not. It consists of the first part in which our hero is an amusing and extremely annoying 16-year-old slacker who couldn't give a shit. Then he starts to lose his mind due to Mad Cow disease, and a new world opens up to him. All the coincidences and strange events -- pretty clearly he's not in our world.

So there are the two parts and the coincidences and bizarre events of that other place had the feel of a made-for-tv movie. There's a wishing tree and the bad guys are standard bad guy symbols and the bits and pieces he drags in from his own life....well, actually they are okay.

Here's the thing though. Even though I can see the issues and problems, I loved the book. I listened to it on tape and it had a good reader (though he didn't often sound 16) The voice of the narrator sounded like my boys-- who're all about that age or near enough (14, 17 and 20). The language was rough for most parents but not at all for guys that age.

Did I mention I loved the book?

I'm trying to figure out why I loved it when I could see the issues that keep it from being slick and perfect and, even, occasionally flat. The message-y stuff was occasionally annoying but, on the other hand, it was pretty low key for a YA book. That character needed some redemption. Even he laughs at himself when he gets to the end and is challenged with the question of "What did you learn?" and his answer is something like a hallmark card slogan.

And if most of the other characters were symbols instead of real, well....they weren't reality, after all.

Part of the reason it worked for me is personal. That whole reality Cameron creates in his poor spongy brain is more than real to him (not to us) and this alternative world is something I've experienced before. Bad anesthesia during or after an operation left me with images that were far more vivid and contained stronger emotion than real life -- for quite a while after. The whole of time was awesomely odd then.

Anyway. The story evoked my own strange legal-drug hallucinations and its flash-backs. I could relate to the nightmare feeling that the universe is out to get me/him/whoever and the fact that it was solved in the story gave me a strange sort of coming-to-terms with that part of life.

The big question of is it real or not isn't answered. Thank god.

There's the little chapter one added on at the very end. It felt tacked on a bit and too neat (a full circle to the first part of the story). I wonder if the book would have been better without it, but it would have been entirely sad without the addition and ummmmmm frankly I sniveled and wept enough without it. Honestly, I'm not sure why I sniveled and wept so much. Must be hormones. And if it hadn't been added, then the big question might have been answered. So maybe I did like it. I don't know.

I might have to get the book in print to see if it works me in that form. I know even if I don't get the teary snuffles, I'll still think it's a amazing effort and I am glad I stumbled over it. I bet I'll still be impressed by it and the author's voice. There were occasional moments of brilliance, when she really did show something in a new light--a sort of writing I haven't read in a long, long time.

I had sort of avoided her books before, but not any more.

Friday, February 04, 2011

isn't it pretty?

Cover by April Martinez


my first response:

-there aren't a lot of thunderstorms in that part of England (yes, I looked it up.) there isn't a storm mentioned in the book.
-That house is far more pleasant than the structure I described.
-I don't like collages.


I hate my first responses. I have learned they must always be ignored.


My second response:

-Hey, really though. That's nice.
-it's not a silly collage. Nothing coming out of anyone's butt.
-And look, she got the hero's eye color right.
-Wow. Yes.

My third response:
-when can I paste that all over the interwebs?

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

You can buy the ebook here, and here, and here

Thanks to Rob, Someone to Cherish Desire is now available at:

All Romance Ebook
and
Kindle/Amazon
and
Smashwords.

Eventually it'll show up at Fictionwise. It's a reissue of The Rat Catcher (basically the same book with a new cover -- and some corrections).