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25 March 2008 @ 09:57 pm
At the beginning of the year I was given the release date for Dishonorable Intentions of March 20th.  When that day finally rolled around, you can't imagine how excited I was!  I checked the Cerridwen press homepage probable every five minutes the day to see if the new books, mine and fellow Frog Pond authors Heather Hiestand and Sandra Cox, had been posted yet.


I knew that the books from the week before hadn't been posted until about 2:30 or 3 pm EST, so I didn't really start to stress until then.  Okay, that's a little bit of a lie...I might have been stressed all morning too. ;-) But there was some concern over the fact that even though my date was the 20th, my book was the 4th on the "coming soon" page, which would put it as coming out next week. 

That might not have been too much of a problem, except that this is my first ever novel being released.  I wanted the day to be special, so I planned a dinner out with my family.  Nothing quite like having dinner on the wrong day to foil the plan ;-)   They all came down starting at about 4:30 pm, still no book on the website!  So I wasn't even sure if I was getting released that day or not.

By the time we left for dinner at 6:10, the books still hadn't been posted, but we decided to celebrate anyway.  I am glad we did, I had a fabulous time.  My family totally spoiled me with gifts.  My mom and sisters gave me a fabulous red metallic (favorite color!) Cross pen and a note that said I should use it to sign all my autographs.

I got flowers from my DH, younger sister and my adorable nephews.  My older sister gave me a beautiful necklace that suited me perfectly.  My little sister gave me a mug that has the best quote for a writer: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" by Eleanor Roosevelt and a pair of red dichroic glass earrings.  My Mum gave me this awesome ceramic tile that says, "Blank page...I shall thwart thee!"  My grammy came down for dinner too, even though it was Holy Thursday for her, and she and my dad and his wife paid for all of our dinners.  My best friend Daniel gave me a beautiful calligraphy Cross pen with my book title and  released date engraved on it.

Honestly, did I get spoiled or what?! Totally spoiled.  They really blew me away with their support and thoughtfulness.  I felt like a princess for the evening, and let me tell you, everyone should feel like that at least once in their life!

By the time we got back from dinner we though for certain that the books would be up, and I would know one way or the other if my book had been released...but no luck!  It was 9 pm by that time, and the site was still showing last week's books!

My friend Dan and I stayed up way too late talking and refreshing the page every ten minutes.  The DH fell asleep on the couch while we waited ;-)  By 11 something pm, the books still hadn't changed!

I finally gave up, with no idea of what was going on.

I woke up at 3 am, still a little stressed (and annoyed, truth be told....couldn't they at least email us and let us know what's going on?) and checked my email.  The publisher emailed with a single line email that said books with a 3/20 release date would be out the morning of 3/21.  No mention of why or whathaveyou.  All I could think was, Did that mean me?  I have a 3/20 release date, but so did 3 other authors, and only three books were getting released, so who was the odd author out?

So it was back to the stress and the waiting.

I was overjoyed when, at about 10:30ish the next morning, the site was finally updated and there was my beautiful cover, along with Heather's and Sandra.  /contented sigh.  What an awesome moment.  The DH and I cheered :)

I never really knew what happened.  Our editor emailed and told us that "everything that could have gone wrong, did." and that's all I know.  Either way, I am just thrilled to have Dishonorable Intentions finally available for purchase!

Current Mood: draineddrained
02 March 2008 @ 10:57 pm
One of the first things I did when I signed up to join RWA was sign up to judge the Golden Heart contest.  For those of you who might not know, the GH is the contest for unpublished romance manuscripts for members of RWA.  It's a huge deal to final in that contest, never mind win it.  One of my fellow SHU authors Kim Howe finaled in the GH last year.

This year I signed up to judge the Paranormal subgenre, one of my favorites.  My top choices are Paranormal, Historical, Regency Historical, and Romantic Suspense.  Last year I judged the Paranormal category also, and I remember not really loving it.  Also, another contest I always judge is the Golden Gateway, which is a good contest.  It offers a lot of feedback, which, when you're in the mood for it, can be very rewarding. 

This year, though, the GG entries had been, to be honest, disappointing.  I had trouble making it through most of them, and even the entry that was technically correct based on the judging standards of the contest left me feeling cold.  Overall, they were less professional and of a lower-quality than entries I was used to seeing.  I wasn't sure if it was just me, if my standards had just gotten pickier, and I worried that I would have the same opinion of the GH entries when they arrived.

When I finally sat down to judge the GH entries this weekend (last minute, I know) I was so pleasantly surprised!! :)
Current Location: The couch
Current Mood: enthralledenthralled
Current Music: The "fwip" of quickly turning pages
02 March 2008 @ 05:05 pm
Exciting stuff happening lately! A friend of mine, and a fellow SHU Writing Popular Fiction alum, Maria V. Snyder, has released the third book in her Study series. Having read the first two, I am thrilled to finally be able to read the third novel in the series, titled Fire Study.

If you missed the beginning, run to the store (or amazon.com) to buy the first book, Poison Study.

Maria does a wonderful job of combining her own real-world experiences into her fantasy novels, which gives her novels an authentic feel that really draws the reader in. Here's what she has to say about researching Fire Study:

"In Fire Study, Yelena is embroiled in another adventure where she must fight a Fire Warper who’s after her soul. She lands in very hot water, and will need all her cunning and the help of her friends to escape. As the author of Fire Study, I also embarked on my own sizzling adventure in the world of molten glass.

In order to write the scenes with Opal, a glass artist in the book, I needed to enroll in glass blowing classes.

The teacher made it look easy to gather a slug of glass. But when it was my turn – yikes! It was HOT! The big vat of molten glass was kept in a rip roaring furnace at a toasty 2100 degrees Fahrenheit. I held a metal rod, and, while squinting through an eye-melting orange light, I dipped the end into the thick goo and spun it, gathering a glob of glass onto the end. The incandescent glob glowed as if alive.

Once acquired, the slug then needed to be quickly shaped. Glass cooled at a rapid pace, and, even though heat waves pulsed from the slug, it didn’t stay pliable for long.

My first paperweight was a misshapened blob. After hours of practice, my ability improved, and I created a paperweight worthy to hold down my next novel’s manuscript pages.

I learned that working with glass required deft coordination, arm strength, tons of patience, and a good partner—it’s a good thing I have a day job!"

Now that's dedication to her craft.

Maria has been something of an inspiration for me. I met her at Seton Hill University, where we both completed the Writing Popular Fiction MA program. She published her first fantasy novel, Poison Study, with the line I'd like to see my own fantasy novel sell to, LUNA Books. She is not afraid to include a large dose of romance in her stories, (who can resist a good fantasy romance?) and she writes about strong, independent heroines struggling to gain their sense of self in a new and challenging world for them.

Beyond that, she's incredibly talented, gracious and helpful to unpublished authors. I really can't say enough good things about Maria, including that I thoroughly enjoy her Study series. If you're looking to try a new fantasy author, and you like a story with equal parts fantasy, adventure and strong heroines, try Maria's Study series.

Here's the blurb on Fire Study:

Fire Study continues Yelena Zaltana’s adventures. When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. As the Council debates Yelena’s fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before.

Drawing on untested skills, Yelena becomes embroiled in the desperate fight to stop the Daviian Clan from unleashing a Fire Warper. Unfortunately, fire is one element she can’t control even if her life depended on it. And there is more at stake than just her life.

Yelena’s journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. She will have one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.

Check out Maria's website to learn more about her and her current work: www.mariavsnyder.com

Current Mood: excitedexcited
23 February 2008 @ 09:32 am
It's official, I hit the Coming Soon page over at Cerridwen Press! 

Not much happens there, you can't click on the book and get any sort of link, you can't pre-order from there, you can't even click my name and get to my site from there, but it's still pretty awesome to see my beautiful cover up there on the site.  And I get to see it move up the page as my release date creeps up.

I can't believe the release is only a month away!  I'm still waiting on final line edits, or FLEs, but from what I've gathered from the other CP writers I know, it's a real last minute thing, and apparently it can be a little stressful.  I'm not at all sure what to expect.

I'm planning on going out to dinner with my family for my release date, just to celebrate the day.  Sure, I won't be able to go see the book on the shelves, but it's still a huge accomplishment for me, and I want to make the day special.  I think I might have to do some shopping too, maybe buy myself something nice. ;-) 

Actually what I should do is hurry back home and get back to work on my new novel, a futuristic romance titled (for now) Empress Game.

I recently did an interview with the Cerridwen Press and it'll be printed in either March's newsletter or April's, I'm not quite sure since my date is so late in the month.  I'll let you know when I find out which month I'm in, so you can go check it out.  Some of the questions were a little cheesy, like, what's sexy in a man, but some were good, like if you could have any super or magical power, what would it be.

I had my DH read over my answers and he liked it, except for my answer to what makes a man sexy. ;-) You'll have to see for yourself when it comes out.

Current Location: Dan's Living Room
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Current Music: Fionna Apple
14 February 2008 @ 07:16 pm
Just a quick pop-in to say HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY today! 

One of my fellow e-authors has her debut release today over at Cerridwen Press, you should go check her out!  Kelly Kirch's novel, Time For Love, is a Regency Romance/Time Travel!  Crazy stuff!

And I am super excited to read Carole Bellacera's new novel, Tango's Edge, also releasing at Cerridwen Press today.  Ice dancing, Russian mobs, romance, what else could you ask for?  Love is in the air!

Enjoy the day with your special someone, or just by yourself.  Always a good excuse to eat too much chocolate and not feel guilty the next day.  I may skip the chocolate, but don't think I won't be indulging in one of my other faves...cool whip!  It's just good on everything.

Current Mood: lovedloved
12 February 2008 @ 12:41 pm
I finally finished creating my website, and it is up! You can check it out by clicking on the "Kat's Website" link in the header of my blog, or by just going to www.kativy.com

Let me know what you think.

Current Mood: chipperchipper
21 January 2008 @ 11:00 am
Here’s an excerpt from the opening chapters of Dishonorable Intentions, Coming from Cerridwen Press March 20th, 2008.  The novel, a Regency-set Historical Romance, is set in London, England in 1816:

Arabella crept down the hallway, her steps muted by a thick layer of dust. It was darker than Aunt Madeline’s attic and twice as eerie. Without a doubt, this was the last place in London she wanted to be tonight.

Beyond the candle’s pale glow, the hallway appeared impenetrably black. She felt half-blind, vulnerable. Anything could come sneaking from the shadows. Claws scratched wood nearby and she whirled. Her candle flickered and guttered.

Please don’t go out. She held herself still while the flame fought for life.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
18 December 2007 @ 08:33 am
I received an email from my editor today with news about my release date!

After two rounds of edits, Dishonorable Intentions was given an ISBN and a release date:

March 20th, 2008!

So soon, I can’t quite believe it.  Hopefully I’ll finish my website before then. ;-)

Here’s the blurb for Dishonorable Intentions getting posted on Cerridwen’s website:

When her search for a sapphire known as the Eye of the Storm is dead-ended, Arabella Cole is forced to consider a partnership with one of the ton’s most notorious rakes, Gabriel Ashton Duvall, the Earl of Bainbridge.  He holds the clue to the last known whereabouts of the Eye, and will share it with her—for a price.  Arabella desperately needs the money selling the Eye would bring to pay off her half-brother’s debts.  With her choices being either a partnership with the devil himself or a loveless marriage of convenience, the devil begins to look pretty good.

I’ll be sure to let you know when it hits the “coming soon” page of Cerridwen.

Current Mood: surprisedsurprised
06 November 2007 @ 10:39 am
I received some fabulous news today.

The cover art for Dishonorable Intentions was emailed to me by the art department at Cerridwen Press. I originally thought my release date would be some time in the summer 2008, and I knew that cover art could come very late, so I wasn’t expecting it any time soon.

The email totally took my by surprise, and made my day. The cover art looks gorgeous! Here it is:


I really think it looks awesome. This is my first ever cover art, and my favorite part is definitely my name across the bottom. I love that they used a sapphire on the cover. The sapphire is a critical element of the story, it’s the entire reason Arabella and Gabriel get together. She is on a search for a sapphire known as the Eye of the Storm, and he becomes her partner on the search.

I’m a little uncertain about the tone of the cover. I like the brush strokes on the cover, but I feel like it gives it something of a western feel. And her dress is a bit problematic, not really fitting the time period. In fact my older sister likes that skirt style for a possible wedding dress some day.

I find it a little odd that the cover doesn’t really adhere to Regency norms when CP has really stepped up their expectations of historical accuracy in their Regency historicals. My editor actually requested a full set of edits on my manuscript dealing with historical details. Things like making sure a chaperone was mentioned explicitly, where before I left it at implied, because everyone who reads Regency would expect a chaperone to be present.

I mentioned my concern to my editor, who agreed with me, but in the end, the cover looks fabulous ‘as is’ so we didn’t make a fuss. In the end, how can you not like attractive cover art with your name on the front?

Current Mood: giddygiddy
20 September 2007 @ 02:04 pm
So, the other day I was asked one of my not so favorite questions.  In fact, I'm sure that most unpublished writers, no matter how hard they're working toward that goal, no matter how many contests they've won or requests for fulls they've had, have been asked something similar.

The question?

"Don't you have to have a book on the shelves to call yourself a writer?  Otherwise anyone could call themselves a writer..."


Well, I suppose anyone could call themselves a writer, but calling oneself a writer does not a writer make.  My thought was this:

I'm a writer because I sit at my computer everyday, fingers to keys, telling the story of characters I've only ever met in my head, in a place only I can imagine, with a voice only I can conjure up, for no other reason than because the story has to be told.

So I ask you . . . are you a writer?

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative