Counting Down to New Year's Day
Have you voted for your favorite American Title finalist yet? **cough**me**cough**
There's still time! Voting ends December 31st. You can use that handy "Vote for Kate!!!" button over on the sidebar, or go to Romantic Times
to read all the entries and the judges' comments and then vote for your favorite.
So right now, I'm busy making my list of New Year's resolutions. I'm a firm believer in New Year's Resolutions. I don't know why, because I rarely keep them. Like, never. Doesn't seem to matter. I still go ahead and write up my list and I always feel good about it because I know this year will be different. This year I'll stick to all my resolutions and life will be fabulous! Right? Damn straight!
But really, honestly, this year will be different. I'll start going to the gym five days a week to build up muscle and lose some extra weight. I'll stick to that new diet I read about in Oprah's magazine. Hey, it worked for her. I'll read more and write more and blog more and clean the house more and oh, what the hell, I'll play the lottery more. And life will be grand!
Meanwhile, back on planet earth, I have another New Year's tradition. Every New Year's Day, the DH and I take a long walk along the beach. This year I expect it to be sunny, cold and windy. And when I say cold, I'm thinking...58 degrees, maybe? Yeah, that's brutal, but we bundle up and manage to enjoy ourselves.
There's something magical about the beach in winter, and it's not just because there are less people around. The light is different, the air itself is different, the ocean is choppy and cold and the sky is so clear and blue it sparkles, and those wonderful, skinny palm trees are almost horizontal from the wind. There's simply nowhere else I'd rather be.
Do you have any New Year's traditions you'd like to share? How about resolutions? Do you make them? Do you actually keep them??
I'm indulging myself, showing pics of my adorable niece and nephew for the last few days on both blogs.
We spent Christmas Eve with them and their mom and dad and a few more brothers and spouses and kids and mom and we all had a great time. The kids also performed in a Christmas play on Christmas Eve and they were brilliant, naturally!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well as a Happy Hanukah and a delightful winter solstice!!
American Title II Winner's Book Coming Soon!!
dream came true when her book, The Warrior Trainer
, went all the way to win the American Title contest last year! Now it's coming out in less than two weeks!! You can buy your very own copy on January 2, 2007.
Meanwhile, The Warrior Trainer
is getting great reviews! Here are just a few ...
Russell, the winner of RT's American Title II
contest last year, debuts with an action-packed, emotion-driven story that immediately captures your attention. Readers yearning for strong heroines and masterful men will find them here, along with a carefully plotted story. Russell's fresh voice secures her a place on the to-buy list. 4 stars. --Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine
The Warrior Trainer
is a romantic, action-packed story. Scotia is as hard as stone, except when it comes to those she loves. The characters are lovely and the storyline will keep you coming back for more. I highly recommend this debut novel from talented new author Gerri Russell. --Fresh Fiction
Using the real Scottish Stone of Destiny as the underlying base to the fine story line, Gerri Russell provides a strong fictional twist to the authentic history in which instead of English knights taking this royal regal item to Westminster, they carted off a fake. The story line is action-packed from the start when the Four Horsemen like those of the Apocalypse destroy anyone misfortunate enough to be in their path and never slows down until the final battlefield confrontation between them and the lead couple. Fans of medieval romance with a wee bit of a whimsical legend (anchored in history) will enjoy this fine tale of a daring skillful heroine and the laird who loves her. --Harriet Klausner
Don't miss this fabulous book by a wonderful new author!
And P.S., Gerri's giving away a copy of her book on the American Title II's Title Wave! Stop by, leave a comment, and maybe you'll get your very own copy free!!
American Title III - What the Judges Said
And once again, for everyone's enjoyment--well, except mine--here are the scary comments the judges had for me and The Kama Sutra Chronicles
this month. This time around it's my Story Summary under scrutiny (you can read the summary in my last post -- just scroll down).Flavia Knightsbridge -- Please don't tell me Gracie is going to be one of those too-naïve-to-be-believed 35-year-old virgin heroines. The prim librarian stereotype is so tired.Hilary Ross -- The twin sister angle is unusual and if tension builds well it could be a good story.Leslie Kazanjian -- Mysterious "twins" ... mistaken identities ... international intrigue ... and a librarian and a secret agent with cabin fever -- this sounds like a sexy explosion just waiting to happen!
Okay, I think I got off pretty easy this month, so I'll just tiptoe away before anyone changes their mind!
Seriously, I'm thrilled the judges--especially Hilary--didn't hammer me for my "twins separated at birth" subplot line, and I love Leslie's phrase about my "secret agent with cabin fever" because that's exactly what's going on! And as far as the prim librarian comment from Flavia, I got a similar comment last month so now I'll just promise you that Gracie isn't repressed!
I hope you'll stop by to read and enjoy all the entries along with the judges' comments at the Romantic Times website
. The voting period for this round is December 18 - 31, so be sure to vote for your favorite now!
American Title - I Made It to Round Three!!!
It’s American Title
Monday!! And yes, I made it through to Round Three!!!And YES, it’s time to VOTE again!!!
But first, I have to thank everyone for voting for me. Honestly, I’m shocked and thrilled I’ve made it this far and I have to thank everyone out there who voted for me in the last round.
There's always a catch, though. Two finalists were eliminated, Meretta Pater
and Lindsey Brookes
. This is the worst part of the contest for me, because all the finalists have become close, so now it's like saying goodbye to my friends--but only for a minute, because we still share the common bond of being American Title III finalists, and Meretta and Lindsey are both so immensely talented, I have no doubt they'll show up in the bookstores any day now!
Okay, the voting is now open! The easiest way to vote for me is to click the button over there on the sidebar, the one that says "Vote For Kate!!!"
Yes, that’s the one! Click on it, and it takes you to an email form that's all filled out and ready to go. Just hit “SEND,” and that's it! I can wait here while you vote…hmm-de-dum…okay, see how easy and fast that was? *g*
Thanks so much for voting and for spreading the word to all your friends!! Woo hoo!!
This month, your vote will determine the “Best Story Summary.” Here's my entry...Gracie Sinclair is Librarian and Book Curator for a small, prestigious university. When she finds an antique French version of the Kama Sutra in a used book store, she’s stunned by the erotic drawings and her fantasies sparkle to life. Just once, she’d love to have a fling, but wild and willing men are scarce in her world. Her girlfriends recommend an intriguing online dating service and Gracie decides to join.
Seventy-two hours later, the biggest, baddest, sexiest man she’s ever seen shows up at the Library, and he’s not there to check out a book.
Cane Winslow has emerged from deep cover to salvage a critical overseas mission after a photograph of their most secret operative’s twin sister turns up on a monitored internet site. If the enemy finds the sexy Librarian before Cane does, Gracie could be killed in retaliation, Cane’s operative assassinated, and years of intelligence destroyed.
Gracie realizes she’s truly in danger and accompanies Cane, despite one little problem – she doesn’t have a sister.
At Gracie’s house, they surprise an intruder and find proof that the enemy has infiltrated Headquarters. Now Cane doesn’t know who to trust and he won’t risk Gracie’s safety by taking her to HQ. Gracie mentions her family’s isolated beach house and Cane agrees it’s a good hiding place.
In close quarters, with danger threatening, the tension builds until Cane and Gracie succumb to their overwhelming attraction and explore the dazzling rituals of the Kama Sutra. And vanquish the enemy, of course!
So … what will the judges have to say this month? Check out their comments and read all the entries at http://www.romantictimes.com/news_amtitle3.php
It’s the holiday season and everyone’s busy, so I truly appreciate you taking the time to vote! And if you have an extra minute, spread the word and tell all your friends to vote, too!! I need all the help I can get!!! Thanks again!
D-Day Minus Two!!
I think that means we find out who went forward in the American Title Contest in two days. Monday, to be exact! This has been the longest time between voting periods, I'm afraid you'll all forget there's a contest going on. Don't worry, I'll remind you on Monday! (Even if I'm not the one going forward, I'll remind you to vote! *g*)
Meanwhile, on the Good News front ... I finished my Christmas shopping!! Yay!! Of course, now I'm staring at all these piles of goodies wondering who's going to wrap everything??
Last night I watched one of my favorite Christmas movies ever--well, really, it's one of my favorite movies, period. Love Actually
. I love it because it has not one romance going on but like, six! Plus, it deals with every sort of "love story" out there, including unrequited love and betrayal and buddies (OMG, Bill Nighy and his manager, LOL) and I love Natalie who works for the prime minister, whose own father calls her "Plumpy," and the wonderful stepfather and son relationship and the slightly psycho Laura Linney character, plus the hilarious scene in the American bar with Colin and the girls.
I could go on and on. And the music is fabulous, too. I'm tempted to order the soundtrack ...
I also watched Miracle on 34th Street
the other night. Simply fabulous.
Hey, I didn't mean to go on and on about holiday movies because Maureen blogged
about it on Wednesday, but it seems I've worked my way around to it! So if we haven't talked about it already, let me know what your favorite holiday film is!
And don't forget to come back Monday when all will be revealed on the American Title front!!
Some Holiday Cheese With That Whine?
I've been writing frantically for days because I've got a deadline this Monday, and I'm sick, and Yahoo is screwing up all my lists so I can't post and I can't get anyone else's posts unless I go directly to Yahoo and I don't have time to do that because--did I mention that deadline?
Yeah, so anyway, I feel totally disconnected from all my loop friends and I don't have time to fix it and I haven't done my Christmas shopping and I've run out of those yummy fudge brownies that were making me really happy and our shower was leaking and rotting out the beams under the house so it all had to be torn apart so the contractor's been here every day for the last two weeks and now our bathroom smells like tar and the tile guy can't come for a week and did I mention I was sick?
But you know what? I feel like the luckiest person in the world most of the time, including now. All of the above is just small stuff, right? You just can't sweat the small stuff.
So how YOU doin'??
And by the way, Happy Holidays!!
The Cookie Sutra Chronicles!
I blogged about this book yesterday at Deadline Diaries
, but I just had to mention it here. It's The Cookie Sutra
! Here's a shot of the cover from Amazon.
Yes, that's gingerbread people you see on the cover, exploring the mysteries of the Kama--er, Cookie Sutra ... and yes, there are more gingerbread people inside, exploring in other ways ... you know. And hey, there's also a gingerbread recipe!
To read more about how this book has changed my life and my writing, visit Deadline Diaries
And to my fellow American Title finalist, Jenny Gardiner, clued me in on this book, thanks, Jenny!
Cheap Attention Getting Device...
Hi! Now that I've got your attention.........
(Thanks, Johnny. You rock!)
Just wanted everyone to know I'm blogging over at Deadline Diaries
today! Stop by for some laughs!
Maureen Child's Latest - Buy it Today!!!
Look what I picked up today!!! My buddy Maureen Child's
latest Silhouette Desire, Beyond The Boardroom
!! Isn't the cover gorgeous?
This is the final episode in the year-long Elliott family saga, and Maureen brings it to a rousing finish with warmth, humor and style!! To give you a little taste of that fabulous style, here's a mini-excerpt ..."Okay then," Rachel Adler said, keeping her voice pitched to be heard over the thumping of running feet and the hum of the treadmill. "I've got you booked for dinner with Tawny Mason tonight at eight.""At Une Nuit?" Shane Elliott asked, reaching for his water bottle, tucked beneath the cord at the head of the machine.
"Where else?" Rachel muttered with a little shake of her head. Why in heaven would he even ask? she wondered. Hadn't she been taking care of every detail of Shane's life for four years now?
"Good." Shane took a long drink of water and Rachel's gaze locked on the bobbing motion of his Adam's apple. Seriously, even the man's neck was sexy.
When he'd finished off the last of the water, he wiped sweat from his face with the towel looped around his neck and tossed Rachel the empty bottle. "And call ahead. Have Stash order in some flowers for, um..." He waved one hand in a silent attempt for help.
"Tawny," Rachel provided dryly as she set the empty bottle down on the floor beside her. For heaven's sake, the man couldn't even remember his date's name.
Plus, he knew as well as she did that Stash Martin, manager of Une Nuit, never missed a beat when getting the Elliott family table ready. There would, she knew, be flowers, champagne and some delicious appetizers just waiting for Shane and Tawny.
What kind of woman named her daughter Tawny? A stage mother, hoping for a starlet daughter? Or had the woman taken one look at her newborn baby girl and decided...future bimbo?
"Right." Shane nodded. "Tawny. She says her mother named her for the color of her eyes."
Rachel rolled her own green eyes.
Shane grinned at her and Rachel's stomach did a quick dip and spin.
If she could have managed it without looking like a complete idiot, she'd have kicked her own ass. Honestly. Why was it Shane Elliott who could turn her insides to mush with a simple smile?
Because he's HOT, that's why!!! Seriously, I can't wait to read the rest of the story! Nobody blends humor and emotion with a sexy love story like Maureen Child does, so do yourself a favor and buy this book today!!
For Serious Shoppers Only!
My girlfriend Suzette Tabor sent me this Fashion Co-Op scoop! Shopping and Champagne?? Yeah! If you're in the L.A. - Santa Monica area this weekend, you need to check out the fun!!Fashion Co-Op Holiday
Santa Monica Civic
1855 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401Directions
VIP Shopping Preview
Fri., Dec. 8, 2006 8pm-11pm
$19 In Advance
Sat., Dec. 9, 2006 10am-4pm
$3 with RSVP
$5 at the DOOR
Fashion Co-Op offers the largest collection of emerging fashion designers on the West Coast. Shop from over 150 of the hottest up and coming designers around the world at our exclusive fashion event. This is a one-stop shopping experience not to be missed!! Fashion Co-Op offers something for everybody including women's clothing, handbags, jewelry, stationery, men's clothing and babies' clothing... all under one roof sold by the designers themselves! Everything at Fashion Co-Op is discounted up to 80% of retail prices.
FOR SERIOUS SHOPPERS - Fashion Co-Op offers a special VIP Shopping Preview. VIP customers will enjoy:
* FIRST PICK AT ALL MERCHANDISE
* Wine & Champagne Tasting from over 10 Wineries
* Skylos' Cupcake & Cotton Candy Bar
* Shopping Energy Boosts compliments of Go Girl Energy
* Complimentary Eyebrow Threading by 6 Technicians in the Spa Lounge
* Photos with our SEXY Santa
* Free Gift Wrapping
* A live DJ
* Shopping in style with no lines, no crowds and no fuss!Click here to RSVP or Purchase Tickets
Here's what the San Francisco Chronicle
says about Fashion Co-Op: "Shop till you drop: Pick up a little something from a new designer at Fashion Co-Op's big spring sale at the end of the month. The indie designer organization puts on several sales a year here and in Los Angeles. More than 50 independent designers will participate in the show. The lines went around the block last February, the last time the event came to town."
Fashion Co-Op has the cutest website here
, and this is their mission: Fashion Co-Op aims to provide a community for up-and-coming designers who are seeking a network of resources in the industry, bringing together a wealth of experience and knowledge in business strategy, public relations and creativity. Fashion Co-Op also aims to provide designers with a venue to expose their lines directly to consumers and to provide consumers with a unique and exclusive opportunity to preview the creations of tomorrow's top designers.
What I'm Reading Now!
I'm still working hard to meet my next deadline and yes, I'm still waiting to reveal who made it to the next round of the American Title III contest, but meanwhile, look what's in the bookstores now!!!
It's The Unexpected Millionaire
, the second book in Susan Mallery's
fabulous Silhouette Desire series, The Million Dollar Catch!Millionaire Kane Dennison's first mistake had been carrying an injured Willow Nelson inside his home, which, as a rule, was off-limits. Of course, she'd needed his help, but his one kind gesture had her believing he was a nice man. He wasn't.
His second mistake had been surrendering to passion after warning Willow to run away. Because a woman like her deserved better than a one-night stand. She believed in soul mates. He trusted no one—needed no one. And not even Willow was going to change him!
Check out Book Two in Susan's series now!!!
And If It's Sunday, I Must Be a Slacker!
Yes, I've been slacking off between American Title voting periods.
Well, not really slacking off, just not blogging enough. I'll be back, I promise! But I've been on a deadline for the past few weeks, writing up a partial and sending it off, then starting in on the re-writes for another manuscript I'm sending off in two weeks. So really, I've been busy!
And when do I start Christmas shopping, I ask you?? It's a mystery. For the past few years, this time of year was frantic as I polished up my Golden Heart entries and sent them off. Now that I'm not entering, I've still got deadlines! If it sounds like I'm complaining, I'm not, because I'm thrilled to have someone in NYC waiting for my work!
So I'd better get back to it, right?
I'll be back tomorrow with an American Title update and some cool links!