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Friday, December 3rd, 2010
Sneak Peek at What’s Next…

Quite a few of you lovely, lovely people have asked about the next book, and now that the book is actually written 8) I feel I can post a few tidbits of information. I should say that everything in this post is subject to change, as it’s not yet set in stone. Once I have an official cover, blurb, and release date I will definitely create a proper page for the book in my Bookshelf section. For the meantime, here’s what I can tell you.

The book will be almost probably certainly titled A Night to Surrender. It will most likely be released in early Fall of 2011, like August/September-ish. And it will most definitely have a gorgeous cover, if the preliminary artwork is any indication. I can’t share it yet. Believe me, I want to.

Oh, I am weak. Maybe I can give you a just a teensy, tiny snippet?

*siiiiigh*

The setting for this book (and the entire series) was partly inspired by the trip I took to England this past August. I spent most of my time on the coast of Sussex–Brighton, Hastings, Rye. The hero of the book, Victor Bramwell, is a war hero. He’s been granted a revived medieval earldom, which includes a very un-revived medieval castle. Rycliff Castle, as it exists in the book, was loosely cobbled together from several sites I visited. One of them was Hastings Castle, pictured here.

*siiiiigh* some more. So lovely.

To go along with that, here’s a teensy, tiny snippet from the book (again, all subject to change! Not edited yet), where the heroine, Susanna Finch, is showing the newly arrived Bram to what is now his castle.

Once they crested the sandstone ridge, Susanna pulled to a stop. “Well,” she said between deep inhalations, “there it is, my lord. Rycliff Castle.”

The castle ruins sat perched at the tip of an outcropping, an arrowhead of green heath jutting over the sea. Four stone turrets, a few standing arches…here and there, a bit of wall. This was all that remained. In the background spread the English Channel, now turning a lovely shade of periwinkle in the dimming afternoon.

Silence reigned for a long minute as the men took in the scene. Susanna kept quiet too, as she tried to see the ancient ruined fortress through fresh eyes. As a young girl, she’d be taken with the romance of it. When viewing the castle as a picturesque ruin, the absent walls and ceilings were the best features. The missing parts were invitations to dream; they inspired the imagination. When looking upon this as a prospective residence, however, she could only imagine the missing parts would inspire grave misgivings. Or perhaps hives.

So there are a few tidbits. More snippets (and lengthier excerpts, and full size covers, and complete blurbs) to come…!

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
GotH around the world!

Today, I received a very exciting package in the mail – copies of the German translation of Goddess of the Hunt! It prompted me to do some web searching to see if any of the other translations have hit the market while I wasn’t looking. And look, they have! Not only in German, but in Japanese, Russian, and Slovak!

See the pretty covers!

I love the clinchy goodness of the German cover art, and the tender romance of the Russian one. I’m very impressed by the way the Slovak publisher referenced the design of the original US cover. Though I have to admit, that lovely, sweet girl on the Japanese version (the title of which, Google Translate informs me, is something like “Earl and a Fake Kiss”) strikes me as rather innocent-looking to be representing Lucy. ;)

Which is your favorite?

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
Since I blogged last…

Um, the seasons changed!

Also…
I went to England!
My eldest started first grade! *sob*
Goddess of the Hunt came out in Russian!
Booklist mentioned me as one of the “new stars of historical romance” – woot! (If you’re looking for new historical authors, be sure to check out that list.)

And I’ve received so much lovely reader mail. I’ve noticed a few common questions cropping up, so I thought I’d go ahead and post answers here for anyone else who might be wondering.

Will Claudia get her own book?

I love this question. I love that so many readers have cared about her, asked about her, and want to see her happy in life and love. She was definitely a character who came alive for me. I hope I do get to write her story someday, but it won’t be happening right away. For one thing, she is still pretty much a teenager in my mind. I need some time to think about the kind of woman she’ll become, and how her life experiences will have shaped her. Second, right now I’m busy with other projects. Which brings me to the other question I’ve been fielding a lot lately…

What are you working on next?
I’m thrilled to report that I’m working on the first book in a brand new Regency historical series. This one has an alpha hero and an alpha heroine mixing it up in a fun, flirty battle-of-the-sexes. Regency-style, of course! Because I caught up to myself with that back-to-back schedule, this next book won’t be out until we’re well into 2011. Once I have a release date (not to mention a title and cover!), I’ll be sure to share them with you! Watch this space for more details.

This weekend, I’ll be in Sacramento, speaking at the Sacramento Valley Rose chapter of RWA. Really looking forward to it! Hope you all have a great weekend, too.

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
What Happens in Florida…

…is finally on my blog!

Okay, here comes the overdue conference wrap-up!

So, I did not win the Regency Historical RITA on Saturday night – that honor (most deservedly) went to Julia Quinn for What Happens in London. I was so elated to see her get her third RITA and instant induction into RWA’s Hall of Fame, I honestly didn’t feel the least bit disappointed. What I felt was hungry, and, in the absence of any lingering nerves, finally able to enjoy my dessert. :)

The conference was wonderful, on the whole. Both of my panels seemed to go okay (even if mostly on the strength the other panelists!), and the book signings were amazing experiences. Last year, I was mostly signing books for my friends. This year, I had actual readers! Ones I didn’t know! Seriously, that was beyond thrilling.

Of course, there were parties. The swanky Avon party at Epcot’s Living Seas pavilion was one highlight, as was the rockin’ party we held in our suite. I had fun hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones, had productive meetings with my agent and editor. Good times, good times.

Oh, and Nora Roberts gave an unforgettable keynote address. Inspiring, hilarious, and, in several places, delightfully profane.

So that was conference. Now let’s get to the important part: Harry Potter!

As a long overdue birthday gift, Carey Baldwin and I took our beloved friend and CP, Courtney Milan, to the brand spankin’ new “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. We’d been hearing all week that the lines and wait times were insane, so we printed out tickets the night before and woke up at the crack limp, humid flap of dawn to get in line. Which worked beautifully, because we were among the first to get into the park. Sara Lindsey also happened to visit the park that day with her mother and sister, so the more/merrier quotient only increased.

The centerpiece of the HP area is Forbidden Journey ride, which is housed in Hogwarts. I mean, really. They built Hogwarts and put the ride inside! Just waiting in line was awesome. We passed through Dumbledore’s office, saw the mirror of Erised and pensieve, walked through Mrs. Sprout’s greenhouse and the gallery of talking portraits, and more. SO cool. (I mean, it’s cool to a Harry Potter geek like me. But even Carey, who isn’t into HP so much, thought it was pretty neat.)

The ride itself…eh. I get motion sick *really* easily, and the ride used a lot of those surround screens, where the combined visuals and ride motion are supposed to make you feel like you’re flying on a broomstick with Harry and friends. Yeah, I couldn’t handle those parts. Had to close my eyes. But I gleefully opened them for the live-action spiders and dementors and Whomping Willow. :)

Then it was on to Hogsmeade, where we watched a wand fitting at Ollivander’s, poked around the Owl Post, Honeydukes and Zonko’s, and ate at Three Broomsticks. Courtney and Carey rode a fiendish-looking Dragon Challenge roller coaster while I watched the Frog Chorus and enjoyed some anti-nausea medication. :)

I would say this was the best part of the Harry Potter theme park experience: simply soaking up the atmosphere of that beloved fictional world. But really, the best best part was spending a few more hours with good friends. Here are the three of us, enjoying a frosty butterbeer. (Which tasted to me sort of like old-school Tab, topped with sweet whipped cream. Yum!)

Monday, July 26th, 2010
Release Day! Three Nights is in stores today

Hooray! Three Nights with a Scoundrel, the final installment in the Stud Club trilogy, is in stores today! I wish I could be online more, but I’m traveling today from California to Florida for the RWA conference, so I’ll be in transit for most of the day. But I want to say thank you to everyone who has been reading this trilogy and looking forward to Julian and Lily’s story–I hope you enjoy it!

If you want to read an early review, check out this one at The Romance Dish. Reviewer PJ was a Julian skeptic, and she’s now one of his biggest fans. :)

I’ll be tweeting and updating Facebook from conference, so if you follow me on either of those social networks, look out for news and pics!

Sunday, July 25th, 2010
Desires winner and RWA preview

Congrats to Babs, lucky #15 as drawn by Random.org. You win the prize package of three autographed Silhouette Desires! Please use the contact form to send me your mailing address. Congratulations!

I’m packing my bags for RWA as I type… well, okay. Not exactly as I type, because I am not that good at multitasking. Let’s just say the room is a mess. :)

As always, I am so excited to be attending National Conference – this year in Orlando, Florida! Conference means getting to see old friends and make new ones. It means business lunches and publisher parties and inspiring keynote addresses and informative presentations and …eek, high heels.

If you’re in the neighborhood but not attending the conference, the Readers for Life literacy signing is open to the public. It’s Wednesday evening from 5:30-7:30 PM, and it’ll be me and …. oh, like 500 other authors of romance! For anyone registered for the conference, I’ll also be signing books at the Ballantine Bantam Dell signing, Saturday morning at 9:00 AM.

I’m also excited to be speaking on two panels during the conference. On Wednesday, aka “Librarian Day”, SuperLibrarian Wendy and I (but mostly SuperLibrarian Wendy) will be expounding on the topic of Romance Collection Development to a group of our peers – librarians!

Then on Saturday, from 3:15-4:15 PM, I’ll be on a panel entitled “Digital Publishing for the Print Published Author”, along with authors Kristen Painter and Shiloh Walker, and Samhain Editor Lindsey Faber.

On both of these panels, I expect to do a lot of smiling and sagely nodding in agreement while the REAL experts talk. But I also expect to have a great time!

Of course, the major excitement of my week will be all the festivities surrounding the RITA awards. I am so honored to be a finalist in the Regency Historical Romance category for Surrender of a Siren. I know people always say, “It’s an honor just to be nominated” … but I seriously mean it. My plan is to enjoy that finalist status for all it’s worth. I have a sparkly dress, and I am ready to par-tay!

Omigosh. I just remembered I haven’t packed my RITA pin! Going to go dig it out right now before I forget.

Oh, and Three Nights with a Scoundrel releases Tuesday! Guess I should mention that too, hm? :D

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010
Win Your Desire(s)

Last week was my local RWA chapter meeting, and I had the pleasure of signing books with several of our chapter’s published authors. What struck me was that three of them all had Silhouette Desire books out this month!

If you’ve read books from the Desire line (or even looked at the titles), you know the heroes are usually super high-powered businessmen. They have wealth, power, and of course, good looks…everything but the right woman in their lives. I don’t know about you, but I can never get enough of that storyline: the strong, uncompromising Alpha hero who won’t be ruled by anything or anyone, until love turns his world on its head. (Spencer of One Dance with a Duke being a case in point!) Evidently I’m not alone, because these books sell like deep-fried hotcakes at the State Fair.

Here are OCC’s home-grown Desires for the month of July:

The Millionaire Meets His Match, by Kate Carlisle

The CEO of Duke Development had been on guard since he discovered his mother’s diabolical plot to marry him off. Him and his brothers. And when his desirable new assistant, Trish James, hinted she wanted more than just a business relationship, Adam figured she was in on the scheme. So the boss decided to play along and seduce the secretary…then put a stop to his mother’s meddling marriage plans once and for all. But even Adam could not have guessed Trish’s true agenda for wanting him in her bed….

Claiming Her Billion-Dollar Birthright, by Maureen Child

The revelation turned Erica Prentice’s world upside down—by birth, she belonged to a wealthy Colorado dynasty and her real father had left her a fortune. And the Jarrod family attorney, Christian Hanford, was there to show her the ropes. As Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome escorted her around Aspen, Erica was in for a second shock—her fiery attraction to the strictly off-limits attorney. Fraternizing with the Jarrod heiress could get Christian fired.

Which would she choose: duty to her family dynasty…or desire for a dynamic bachelor?

Seduction on the CEO’s Terms, by Charlene Sands

He’d returned to Napa Valley strictly to help run the family winery…not be distracted by a
beauty on the staff. CEO Joe Carlino had made the mistake of indulging in an office romance once before, and everything about Ali Pendrake practically screamed “make me your woman!”

Frustrated that her boss was judging her solely by her looks, Ali committed to a total reverse makeover. Ironically, when she transformed from glittery Cinderella to mousey plain-Jane, she really caught the wealthy bachelor’s eye. Yet as they moved from boardroom to bedroom, she wondered if Joe would ever see—or love—the real Ali.

This is Kate Carlisle’s very first Desire, and she landed the coveted “Man of the Month” label! (Shouldn’t exactly come as a surprise, given that her first mystery novel made the New York Times list. She is on fire.) How much do I love that in Maureen Child’s book, the heroine is the billionaire, and that Charlene Sands has a reverse Cinderella tale…?

Also, I have to say, all three of these women are such inspirations. Not only are they immensely talented bestselling authors–they’re also whip-smart, generous, sincere, and gorgeous. (Okay, and a just little intimidating at times. At one of my very first OCC meetings, the chapter celebrated Maureen’s 100th book. Her name was emblazoned across this positively enormous cake. And I, having come in during a break, accidentally took her chair. *facepalm* But she still speaks to me!)

Last Saturday, I asked each of these authors to sign a copy of their latest Desire, and happily they agreed. And I’m going to give away all three to one lucky winner. Just leave a comment to enter, telling me about your favorite alpha hero! I’ll close entries on Friday at 5PM Pacific Time. Good luck!

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
New excerpt posted!

Or maybe I should just say, longer excerpt posted?

Anyhow, I can’t believe it’s just one week until the release of Three Nights with a Scoundrel! I previously had part of Chapter One posted as an excerpt, but this morning I’ve expanded it to all of Chapter One. So a few more pages to tease you. Click here to read it!

Summer has been keeping me so busy, but I’m going to make up for my lack of blogging with some great giveaways. Look for a particularly desirable contest tomorrow. (That’s a hint. Admittedly a very nonspecific one, but it will make sense tomorrow.)

Also, tomorrow I’ll be a guest on the Borders True Romance blog.

Hope summer has been treating you well!

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
Nook News

A few days ago, a very alert reader wrote to let me know that Goddess of the Hunt wasn’t available for the Nook (Barnes and Noble’s e-reader), even though all my other books were. But when I tried to email this very alert reader back, the return email bounced.

So for the benefit of all and sundry, I will post the reply here. I’ve emailed my publisher, and they are on the case…hopefully GotH for Nook will be available soon! Thank you for your patience.

Speaking of patience, the last few weeks have been Mr. Dare Appreciation Month in this house. Of course, Mr. Dare is always appreciated. But lately the darelings and I are discovering new levels of appreciation for him, because he is not here. He is far, far away, visiting old friends and relatives, and I am happy for him, but I miss him like PB misses J. I am also developing a profound sense of wonder and awe for all single parents, spouses of deployed soldiers, and others caring for children on their own. I raise a glass to you. (Not that I’m doing a lot of drinking after the kids go to bed. No, not at all. :) )

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
Twice Tempted is in stores today!

Hooray, it’s release day! Twice Tempted by a Rogue, book two in the Stud Club trilogy is in stores today. Sooo exciting! You can read the first chapter and find buy links here. You can enter to win an autographed copy here.

This book was a challenge for me in many ways. Rhys is by far my most tortured hero yet, and Meredith needed to be a strong, resourceful heroine to be his match. But the joy of writing the book was in developing these two strong individuals and letting them reveal their vulnerabilities to each other. Rhys has spent most of his life destroying things, including himself; but now he wants something he’d never dreamed could be his – a real future. Hardworking Meredith cares for her father, an inn, and pretty much a whole village, but she secretly years to be nurtured and protected for a change. They are two characters I loved spending time with, and it made me ridiculously delighted to give them a happy ending together. So I hope readers enjoy reading their story as much as I enjoyed writing it!

In other news, the discussion of One Dance for a Duke for Sarah’s Sizzling Summer Bookclub will be tomorrow night, 10 PM Eastern time. I’ll be joining the end of the discussion to answer any questions. Check out the details here. Hope you can make it!