Tuesday, October 31, 2006

American Title 3 -- And Then There Were Eight

Round One is over and now the waiting begins. Two of the ten finalists have been eliminated from the contest.

Who's in? Who's out? If I told you, I'd have to kill you!! But I want to thank everyone who voted for me and my crazy and controversial first line, "Crotchless panties?" (Yes, I just had to type that one more time! LOL)

No matter what the outcome is, I am so grateful for your support!!

Voting for Round Two begins Monday, November 13 and this time you'll be asked to vote on the Best Description of the Hero and Heroine.

Stay tuned!


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Buy This Book!!!

My friend Maureen Child has a fabulous book out on the stands now! Eternally is part of the new Silhouette Nocturne line of dark paranormal romances and in my completely objective opinion, it's the best!! It's got one sizzling hot hero, one smart, funny heroine and one fabulous story you're going to love!! Hey, even the cover is sexy! And check out the back cover copy...

He was a Guardian. An immortal fighter of evil.

The sexy, sword-wielding stranger standing before Julie Carpenter claimed he was out to destroy a demon and that she was its next target. As he whisked her away to his fortresslike mansion high in the Hollywood hills, she could only hope Kieran was not the true danger.

For centuries Kieran had heard the legend of Destined Mates…but he never believed until now. He could read Julie's thoughts, sense her deepest desires. And he knew she wanted him just as he knew joining with her would make him strong enough to defeat any demon from hell. But the cost might be losing the woman who was his true salvation.

Doesn't that sound fabulous? So run, don't walk to your local bookseller and pick up your very own copy of Eternally!


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

ATIII - Round One, Week Two

Five more days to vote for "Crotchless panties?"

You know you want to!

Click on webmaster@romantictimes.com, type THE KAMA SUTRA CHRONICLES in the Subject line and hit SEND! It's so simple. Do it now! You'll feel better.

What a week.

I'm only slightly brain-dead from a week of frantic emailing and begging for votes, then traveling across country and dealing with stupid jet lag. Wide awake at 3:00 a.m., realizing I didn't contact my cousin Peter in Connecticut or my alleged stepsister Tricia who's got a darling new baby and is probably on the West Coast now that I'm on the East, right? Hi Tricia!! Vote for me!!! Yo, Peter, dude, vote!

So what's new? I'm taking the online PR class given by the brilliant Louise Knott Ahern (if you have an opportunity, do not hesitate to take her class--she is fantastic!!) and I haven't posted my homework but I'm reading all the posts and have already learned a massive amount.

I'm writing every day, a YA paranormal my agent is excited about. It makes me very happy to simply focus on the writing right now.

I'm visiting my father-in-law Frank, who's 95 and wonderful. He taught music for years in the Buffalo school district and this week, he's giving my husband piano lessons.

Let me know -- What's up with you?


Sunday, October 22, 2006

An American Title Finalist in Beautiful Buffalo

In American Title 3 news, you've got one week left to vote for your favorite First Line. We all know my First Line by now, right? Let's say it together...

"Crotchless panties?"

Well said! And to paraphrase the immortal words of AT2 finalist Maria Geraci, don't get your crotchless panties in a wad!! Live dangerously! Vote for Kate!

And in other news, I took a few days off to travel and ended up here in Buffalo, home of the Great Tree Massacre of 2006. The freak storm that rendered the city snowbound and without power for days was so unexpected that some local newspapers and TV stations are actually asking the public to submit names to call the event. Some suggestions: October Surprise, Arborgeddon, The Day The Trees Died. Here are a few pictures that don't do justice to to the devastation.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

American Title - Day Three - The Judges

If you're here at my blog, you may have already read the judges' comments on everyone's First Line. Some comments were snarkier than others.

Here's what they had to say about THE KAMA SUTRA CHRONICLES and my first line, "Crotchless panties?"

Flavia Knightsbridge - Nothing like stripping it down to the basics, literally...seems like a fitting start given the title.

Hilary Ross - Ugh, sounds like this is going to be way beyond erotica!

Leslie Kazanjian - This book has a fun title and a fabulous, provocative opening line! I'd certainly read on.

Okay, I vote for Leslie's answer!

When I first read the judges' comments, the only word I saw was "UGH." On second/third/fourth read, I realized their comments overall weren't as harsh as I'd first thought. The only thing I'll say in my defense is, THE KAMA SUTRA CHRONICLES is a romance with humor and a touch of suspense. Not erotica! Not that there's anything wrong with erotica! LOL. But Ms. Hilary uttered the word as though it were the worst thing since...well, I won't even go there.

Their criticisms were much rougher on some of the other finalists and I'm sorry about that. But one thing we all agree on is that Raz's opening line is hilarious. To check them all out, click here...and don't forget to vote!

It's funny, it’s sexy, it’s suspenseful! Vote for THE KAMA SUTRA CHRONICLES in the American Title Contest at http://www.romantictimes.com/news_amtitle.php

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

American Title III - Day Two - The Bio

Have you ever written a short biography of yourself? It's harder than you think (she whined).

It took me days to write the short biography required for the American Title contest. In 150 words, I was expected to explain my life and my journey and my hopes and dreams and blah blah blah. I'd sooner write another 100,000 word manuscript!

It's not that I don't take the responsibility seriously, I just can't take myself seriously. I can't look in the mirror and say, "Oh my, look at all these wonderful things you've accomplished. You should be taken seriously as an artist." If you've read the bio on my website, you'll see I don't handle these things well.

So instead, for my American Title "Short Bio," I chose to write something along the lines of the biographical monologue Dr. Evil gives in his therapy session with his son Scott -- without the the luge lessons or summers in Rangoon.

Here's my ATIII bio, and it's mostly true.

As Dr. Evil would say, the details of my life are inconsequential. My father’s idea of family outings were picnics on the infield at Santa Anita. I won the Trifecta when I was eight. I grew up and spent years working in television on Solid Gold, Midnight Special, Newlywed Game, Dating Game, The Gong Show--and no, Chuck Barris is not a spy. I traveled, gambled in Macau, snorkeled in St. Thomas, and was once treated to a lap dance in Kowloon. Aimless, I joined a cult and was forced to wear shapeless clothing made of hemp. After years of shock therapy, I found reality and a good stylist, and I love life. I’m thrilled to be a finalist in ATIII. I’ve completed four manuscripts and this year I was a triple finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart contest and my manuscript, Snooping in Stilettos, won!


Monday, October 16, 2006

American Title III - Voting is Now Open!!

"Crotchless panties?"

Yes, that's the first line of my book, THE KAMA SUTRA CHRONICLES. And it’s time to vote for that first line!

Huh? Excuse me? You don’t know what I’m talking about? Okay, well…in case you hadn't heard, here are the details!

My manuscript, THE KAMA SUTRA CHRONICLES, was chosen among hundreds of entries to be a finalist in the American Title III contest sponsored by Romantic Times Book Review magazine (“RT”) and Dorchester Publishing.

What’s the big deal, you ask? A publishing contract with Dorchester, that’s what!

The contest works like the television show, American Idol. There are ten finalists and our books are “on stage.” So each month for the next five months, RT will post a portion of our books on their website, then three delightful judges will comment (ala Randy, Paula and Simon), and the final decision is in your hands!

Two finalists are eliminated each month. Scary? Oh yes, my friends!

If I receive enough votes, I move to the next round and we all vote again! Here’s the Voting Schedule:

- Best First Line (voting October 16 – 29)
- Best Hero/Heroine Description (voting November 13 – 26)
- Best Story Summary (voting December 18 – 31)
- Best Dialogue Scene (voting January 22 – February 4)
- Best Romantic Scene (voting February 19 –March 4)

Voting is done by e-mail – ONE VOTE PER PERSON. That’s why it’s important to tell everyone you know to VOTE!

So you’re ready to vote, right? Okay! There are two ways you can do it:

--The Easy Way: Click webmaster@romantictimes.com Type in the Subject Line: THE KAMA SUTRA CHRONICLES, and Hit “SEND!”

-- The Other Way: Go to American Title Contest, read all the entries, then vote for your favorite!

That's it. It's easy! So go vote!

Meanwhile, here's a partial view of what comes after the infamous first line of THE KAMA SUTRA CHRONICLES...

“Crotchless panties?”


“And he fell asleep?”


“Oh, my God.”

“Exactly.” Graciella Sinclair glanced miserably from one girlfriend to the other, then stared into her lemon-drop martini. “That’s when I broke up with him.”

“It’s about damn time.” Annabel Blake, tall and dazzling as usual in a sexy black cocktail dress, gave Gracie a tight hug. “Hubert’s a jerk and he doesn’t deserve you.”

“She’s right, Gracie,” Callie McAllister said. She dabbed her fingers on a cocktail napkin, having just polished off a lobster-stuffed blini she’d nabbed from a passing waiter’s tray. “You’re better off without him.”

“I know you’re both absolutely right,” Gracie said, then frowned. “But I can’t help thinking something’s wrong with me. I mean, when a man doesn’t...”

“There is nothing wrong with you, Gracie,” Annabel stated firmly. “Well, except for your taste in men.”

Oops, that's all I can show you for now! Thanks so much for your support!

It's funny, it’s sexy, it’s suspenseful! Vote for THE KAMA SUTRA CHRONICLES in the American Title Contest today!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My Interview's Up at Title Wave!!

Title Wave has been posting interviews with the American Title Contest finalists all week, and today is mine! Come by and read all about it -- er, me!

On a slightly different subject, I just want to send out some thoughts and prayers to my family in Buffalo. Here's a shot I borrowed from CNN. It was taken in Clarence, New York, a suburb of Buffalo, which is where my sister-in-law Mary Lou lives with her family. Can you believe they've got this much snow in mid-October? They can't either. Power is still out for hundreds of thousands of people in the area. The snow has been so heavy, it's caused trees to topple all over the city, which has caused power lines to fall and at least one person died from a falling tree limb.

And here's a slightly more upbeat photo -- of Brutus the dog who, while I thought at first he was lying in the snow, is actually walking through several feet high of snow.

Did I mention I'll be in Buffalo next week? *g*

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Quickie Drive-By Hello and ATIII Update (of course!!)

I spent the day at the Orange County RWA meeting. (See the orange? Get it? Orange County? Sometimes my brilliance frightens me.) And no, I didn't win the iPod, which is so unfair!! Okay, so I have no idea how an iPod works, having never owned one before, but must that be held against me?? Sigh. Maybe someone will buy me one for Christmas.

By the way, congratulations to the person who won. Whoever she is. I wouldn't know...since she left the meeting early!!! Hmph!! Not that I'm bitter...

Okay, enough grumbling! LOL. The meeting was wonderful, as usual. I blogged about it yesterday.

Meanwhile, here at the blog, I wanted to let everyone know that I fixed the settings on my comments section so anyone can post a comment now! For some reason, it was restricted. That's so wrong in so many ways. So leave me a comment!! Say hello! Tell me about your iPod. *Sniffle* Whatever.

And here's Big News! Tomorrow at Title Wave, I'm being interviewed!! Stop by and say hello! Leave me a comment there, please-oh-please! The wonderful Title Wave bloggers have been posting interviews of all the ATIII finalists and mine is the last one before Monday when the Voting begins. (P.S. Stop by Title Wave today and see the hilariously funny Ron/Raz's interview!!)

And don't forget to check my Good Vibrations interview on The Writer's Vibe! They posted it yesterday and as with everything else around here lately, it's all about me! All Kate all the time!

Scary, isn't it?


Friday, October 13, 2006

TGIF!! And Counting Down...Three Days to ATIII

Monday is the big day and I'll confess, my mind keeps alternating between eerie calm and out-of-control spinning. I'm sure my fellow finalists are feeling the same way. Usually when we enter a writing contest, it's all anonymous and safe--well, in terms of your identity, anyway. You're never really safe from the slings and arrows of contest judges! But this time, we're all on display for the world to see.

On Monday, you'll read the opening line of my book, THE KAMA SUTRA CHRONICLES, and I won't be able to hide behind a wall of mystery anymore. Nope. You'll read that first line and know it's mine. And my first line is so bizarre, you might just get the wrong idea about sweet little ol' me! *g* So Monday, right here, I'm going to post the rest of the scene so you'll be able to put it all in context and continue to speak to me! LOL

Okay, it's Friday the 13th, and there's plenty of excitement and diversion out in blog land! And I need all the diversion I can get right now. Over at The Writer's Vibe, they've got the latest Good Vibrations Interview and it's all about ME! I hope you'll check it out!

And there's the cutest, laugh-out-loud funny Halloween photo over at Maureen Child's blog.

And speaking of Maureen, she blogged about displacement activities the other day and mentioned one of the best new time-wasters around, which can be found right here. (Courtesy of Jamie Denton over at the Brava Authors' blog.)

Oops! Let's not forget another classic procrastination tool you can find over at Rhonda Pollero's very fun website, namely, the Flamingo Ring Toss. This will keep you happy for hours!

Okay, that's enough diversionary tactics for now!

And if anyone is looking in from Buffalo, could you talk to the weather man? I'm flying in next Saturday and the record snowfall is just wrong! TWO FEET of snow?? Good grief! Make it stop!!!


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

American Title III...Five Days and Counting....So I’m giving away books!

Yes, the contest starts in five days. That's Monday, October 16. The Fear and Panic are building, so I’m trying to think about other things...happy things. Ah, here’s something happy to think about.............

I belong to the absolutely fabulous Orange County chapter of RWA. This Saturday, we’re having our 25th birthday bash and it’s going to be huge and happy. We’ve got two incredible speakers -- RWA founder Rita Clay Estrada and T. Jefferson Parker.

Not a bad line-up, right?

The first OCC meeting I ever attended was the October meeting, almost ten years ago. (Holy *#%, was it that long ago? I was barely legal!) I was a member of Sisters in Crime (and a closet romance reader) and past president Marianne Donley invited a few of us SIC board members to attend a meeting and “mingle” with romance authors.

It changed my life.

Seriously, I’d never seen so many savvy business women in one place in my entire life. Romance writers are serious about this business, people! And they dress a whole lot better than mystery writers (a fact which mystery writers wear like a badge of honor, of course *g*).

The president of OCC at that first meeting was Amy J. Fetzer.

She shocked and amazed me with her style and ability to whip the group into shape. Talk about kick-ass! Guess it helps that she’s the wife/mother/daughter of Marines. *g*

It was the October meeting so it was their annual birthday party, which is always a special event. I sat down at one of the beautifully decorated party tables (Balloons! Free books! Chocolate!) and struck up a fun conversation with a pretty, young woman who confessed that she’d just sold her first seven books that week. Another chin-dropping moment.

The woman’s name was Jill Shalvis. I think she’s still writing books and selling them. LOL

Part of the excitement of every OCC birthday party is the raffle. I’ve never seen so many raffle baskets and fabulous prizes -- TV’s, Alpha-Smarts, iPods, DVD players, you name it, they’ve raffled it off. Plus critiques from published authors, vacations, you name it. It’s a really cool raffle. At that first meeting, I won two raffle baskets! I was hooked!

This year I hope I win the iPod. Wish me luck!

Are you a romance writer? Tell me about your RWA chapter. Are you a reader? Leave me a comment and I’ll send you a couple of Jill’s books!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Countdown to American Title!

Voting for the American Title contest begins one week from today!! I've got lots to do between now and then, so naturally I woke up this morning with a nasty head cold. Sore throat, stuffy sinuses. Lovely. I had to call in sick at the day job, which I absolutely hate to do. So in honor of the truly delightful people I get to work with every day, I'm posting some of my favorite lawyer jokes!
But first a disclaimer. Some of my best friends and family members are lawyers! And they're the ones who tell the best jokes. Like these...

Do you know how to save a drowning lawyer? Take your foot off his head.

What's the difference between a lawyer and a catfish? One is a slimy, bottom-feeding scumsucker and the other is a fish.

What's the difference between a lawyer and a pitbull? Jewelry.

What do you call 5,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start.

How many lawyers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? One. The lawyer holds the bulb while the rest of the world revolves around him.

How do you get a lawyer out a tree? Cut the rope.

What do you have when a lawyer is buried up to his neck in sand? Not enough sand.

What do lawyers use for birth control? Their personalities.

Why won't sharks attack lawyers? Professional courtesy.

Okay, that's enough!! Or is it? Feel free to add your own!


Sunday, October 08, 2006

American Title Contest - Update

It's been a busy week for this little American Title III finalist. Now that we have a voting schedule, I've been twisting arms--er, gently persuading friends and family to vote for THE KAMA SUTRA CHRONICLES! I've been spreading the word around the various e-mail loops and letting people in my local RWA chapter know about the contest and I know all my fellow finalists are doing the same. And here's some great news! We've all been invited to blog with last year's AT finalists at their terrific blog site, Title Wave. They're posting one interview each day up until the first day of voting. FYI, my interview day is Sunday, October 15, the day before the voting starts. Check us out!

And for anyone who's been checking the Romantic Times website for information, nothing's been posted yet about the American Title Contest. I'm sure they'll be posting information soon because voting begins in one week. And once the voting period opens, I'll post a link directly to the contest site. Once you're there, you can read all the entries and vote--early and often! (Oops, one vote per e-mail address, please!)

Here's the official voting schedule:

Best First Line: October 16 - 29
Best Hero and Heroine: November 13 - 26
Best Story Summary: December 18 - 31
Best Dialogue Scene: January 22 - February 4
Best Romantic Scene: February 19 - March 4

The winner will be announced at the RT Book Lovers Convention in Houston in April!


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My First Romance

No, I'm not talking about the crush I had on Stephen White in fourth grade. I'm talking about the first romance novel I ever read.

It was only about ten years ago. I was sitting outside my office, re-reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and a co-worker walked up and asked what I was reading. She'd never heard of Jane Austen, but I described the story and she said, "If you like that sort of book, you might like the book I just finished." And she handed me THE LION'S LADY by Julie Garwood.

LOL! Sorry Miss Austen, but I never looked back!

THE LION'S LADY remains one of my favorite romances--probably because it was my first. I've had to buy new copies because I've re-read it so many times. One thing I love about Julie Garwood's writing is her humor. In THE LION'S LADY, the heroine Christina can't stop lying to the hero. Though British, she was raised by a Native American Indian tribe and she's got so many secrets, she can't keep them all straight. The hero, Lyon, is a big, tough warrior spy whose first wife betrayed him, so of course he doesn't trust women. There are scenes in this book that are laugh-out-loud funny, and the plot has plenty of interesting twists and turns. If you've never read it, I highly recommend that you race right out and buy it!

A few years later, I finally read my first contemporary romance, Nora Roberts' BORN IN FIRE. Before that, I'd never heard of Nora Roberts. What rock was I living under?? As you can imagine, I had a lot of catching up to do. I went crazy on eBay, buying up every vintage Nora I could find. If I'd only waited a year or so, I could've bought some of the Harlequin reissues of these same books. But I couldn't wait. I had to have everything I could get my hands on!

BORN IN FIRE is still one of my favorite books, along with the other two books in the trilogy. And yes, I've had to buy new copies over the years because I re-read all three at least once a year. And I still get the same feeling I did that first time I read the opening scene with Maggie and her father driving out to Loop Head. It takes my breath away just thinking about it.

Do you remember the first romance novel you ever read? Is it still your favorite? Was it historical or contemporary? Tell me about it!

Monday, October 02, 2006

What's New...

I spent the last few days scrambling to get my American Title submissions in to Romantic Times magazine. I didn’t know they wanted everything at once. I guess it surprised most of the other finalists, as well, so we all spent a few days silently panicking and editing and getting all our categories together for the contest. The categories are (1) First Line of the book, (2) Description of Hero and Heroine, (3) Story Summary, (4) Dialogue Scene, and (5) Romantic/Love Scene. They also wanted a bio and a picture.

Once I sent everything off to the senior editor, I had a whole different reason to panic. Did I choose the right dialogue scene? Is my humorous bio just stupid? It’s too late now, so I’m trying to let it go. Not so easy, but I’m trying. Deep breaths.....

So what have I been doing to distract myself? Well...

I've been reading and surfing the net and posting messages to a few of my e-mail loops.

I attended Christopher Vogler’s fabulous all-day workshop on The Writer’s Journey.

I’m starting to write a new book, which I blogged about on Deadline Diaries today.

I re-read Gina Black’s informative post about her experiences with the American Title contest last year. This didn’t exactly calm my nerves and distract me but I needed to revisit Gina's valuable advice and information.

I found out that Squawk Radio is moving to their own website, so I’ve got to remember to stop by there today. Love those chicks!

I’m reading Jill Shalvis’s Out Of This World, which I’m loving. Jill’s books are always so fun and sexy.

I listened to Janice Lynn’s RWA conference workshop on promotion. I also re-played Nora’s speech to the RWA PRO group, just for fun and inspiration.

What have you been up to? How do you keep from going crazy when you’re waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting...........