Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hairballs Happen

"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." -- Robert A. Heinlein

Have you ever wondered about the cozy relationship between writers and cats?

Here is how one cat puts it (as translated by Robert A. Sloan):

“Writers are one of the best breeds of humans to get, because writers already have civilized, catlike habits. Most writers don't like being disturbed, either. They have an uncanny, almost feline, focus on their work that's very much like a hunter's patient stalk. They sit still for long periods of time, and have warm, comfortable laps. Quiet, undemanding intimacy is possible with a writer that a cat might not find with the more frantic types of humans."

That explains why cats are so tolerant of writers, but why are we so fascinated and eager for feline companionship? Dan Greenburg’s quote sums it up quite nicely:

“Cats are dangerous companions for writers because cat watching is a near-perfect method of writing avoidance.”

And now for a little cat watching:

Cross-posted at Blasphemous Rumours

Amanda Stevens

Friday, February 23, 2007

No More, No More Tongue in Cheek

I'm paying homage to the death of one of my favorite internet sites:, touted as supplies for all your supervillain needs. This was the cyber place I visited when I needed a laugh or just a simple reminder that life shouldn't be taken too seriously.

Here's a snippet of one of Villainsupplies last posts:

"The latest in supplies for the Villain in you. From the SECLUDED MOUNTAINTOP VILLA to SUBTERRANEAN ISLAND BASE WITH OPTIONAL VOLCANO UPGRADE, from Small Arms to Doomsday Devices, from Tips for the Evil Genius, to, this site has it all!"

Sniff, sniff. I'll have to find another way to amuse myself and waste time.

So, do you have a favorite time-wasting site?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Computer Woes

Hello everyone,
I generally find trying new things exciting. Blogging? Sure, why not? Never done that.
I must admit, however, the excitement level drops several notches when the new thing involves a computer. My love/hate relationships with the brutes are filled with well documented facts. Today I must brave the ice and frigid temperatures to go out and purchase another new one to replace the one that is no longer speaking to my monitor. It's not just the cost of another new computer that irritates me - this is my third one in under a year.
I do not abuse them! It's the other way around. I'm the one who has to mouse left handed because of carple tunnel syndrome and who is to blame for that, huh? Okay, technically, the mouse that goes with the computer, but it still comes back to the computer.
However, without computers I'd never be a published author. Anyone out there old enough to remember typewriters and carbon paper? shudder. I really want to love my computer, honest.
When I'm writing a scene I'm totally focused. I know where the characters are supposed to go and usually have an idea how I want them to get there. Then my hero or heroine will go and do something totally unexpected - like rescue the heroine from the burning building - check - and pass off her unconscious body to someone else to go back and help his partner. Huh? He was supposed to carry her out of the burning building. Uh-oh. Now what? Oh. I see. Okay. Wait. He just fell through the roof? That wasn't supposed to happen. Now what?
The old days of typewriters and carbon paper didn't allow for errors of this magnitude, not without a lot of painfully slow erasures - with actual erasers! But hey, computers let me save this scene and move on. I can go back and change things with a few key strokes if I want. I love my computer! Until a power surge goes through the surge protector and it stops speaking to the monitor because another chip on the motherboard took a hit.
Oh! Wait. Now I see. It's the power company I hate. It's not my poor computer. Electricity is to blame. Any of you old enough to remember the days of candles instead of electric lights?
Forget it. I'm not that old! I'll go back to blaming the computer. They are so darn sensitive. Who knew surge protectors were only good for one surge? I wonder if the store still sells typewriters. Hmmm....
Happy Reading everyone,

Friday, February 16, 2007

More Texas Rangers

My Intrigue, TRACE EVIDENCE IN TARRANT COUNTY, is on the shelves this week, and I've gotten some emails from readers who are enjoying this trilogy. One thing a reader pointed out was she liked that both the hero and heroine are in law enforcement but not with the same agency. The hero, Sloan, is a Texas Ranger and the heroine, Carley, is the sheriff of a small Texas town. The reader thought the two professions clashed and meshed well.

So, how about you? When it comes to reading romance, do you have a preference for the hero and heroine's careers?


Men of the Silver Star trilogy:

SIX GUN INVESTIGATION, Mallory Kane, Jan. 2007


JUSTICE FOR A RANGER, Rita Herron, March 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ssssooooo???? What are everyone's plans for this evening? Wish I could say mine are romantic but the truth is, I'm packing. No, not moving, but packing up my main living space in order to have new hardwood floors installed next week. Yikes! Valentine's Day? Who's got the time?

No seriously, after 25 years of marriage you'd think we'd have this Valentine's Day celebration down to a science. Instead, my hubby will be sitting in statistics class and I'll be chasing the cats out of the boxes meant for packing china.

However, we will escape into the City of Seattle on Saturday night for a romantic meal by the waterfront. What have you got planned?

Check back later to find out who won our Intrigue Authors contest for the free books!


Pat White

Friday, February 9, 2007

Sugar High and Winter Low

Hi, Mallory Kane here.

Delores and Pat have brought up topics that resonate with me. Comfort food and cold weather. Most folks who know me know I am addicted to sugar--in almost any form. I love my coffee hot and sweet, my cereal even sweeter than it comes out of the box, and my desserts jaw-achingly rich.

Also, many people who know me know I don't tolerate cold well. I have cold flashes instead of hot flashes. You'll find me under an afghan even in summer. And when I'm buying clothes for RWA every year, even though it's in July, I'm the one searching for sweaters.

But I have to tell you, there is nothing better on a gloomy cold day (like today here in Brandon MS) than wrapping up in a down comforter, sipping on a sweet mug of hot chocolate or raspberry tea, and diving into the world of my current hero and heroine. That's got to be one of my favorite things, right up there with crawling into bed at night with my own personal heating pad--my dh.

Right now I'm writing what I call my "Heathers Meets Jessica Fletcher" book, and what Intrigue has titled HIGH SCHOOL REUNION. Of course it takes place in the summertime and my heroine isn't a sugar-holic, but I'm still having a great time.

Just a note about Mike's mother. She died on January 30, 2007 in her sleep after having been in a nursing home for a year with a massive stroke. Her death wasn't unexpected, but Mike, his two brothers, I and her many friends miss her. Sally was a pharmacist, just like me, and she set up Mike and me on a blind date. Little did she know that she was setting us up for 33 years of marriage--so far. I love her and miss her, and I'll be forever grateful that she thought I was worthy of her son. God bless, Sally.

Back to sipping hot tea and writing. Throw me a couple of those chocolate-covered Altoids, Delores!

Mallory Kane
Check out SIX-GUN INVESTIGATION available now.

Little Pellets of Sin

I love chocolate. Wait, make that--I LOVE LOVE LOVE chocolate, and I'm especially fond of the dark stuff. Godiva truffles don't last long in my house, and that's exactly why I don't buy them very often. An eighteen dollar box=five pounds on my thighs. So, I always look for something cheaper and with less calories. I found it. Chocolate covered Altoids. Yes, those little low calorie strong mints have now been drowned in dark chocolate. I bought a box.

And ate it.

The entire thing.

In less than 10 minutes.

Yes, they're a lot cheaper than Godiva truffles, but those little pellets of sin were not meant to be consumed in one 10-minute sitting.They're addictive, and cheap and addictive are NOT a good combination when it comes to my thighs. I'm betting the hero and heroine on the cover of my latest Intrigue, TRACE EVIDENCE IN TARRANT COUNTY, don't have issues like this in their lives. They're too busy dodging bullets. :)

So, what's your vice when it comes to sinful foods and snacks?

Delores Fossen, off to buy more pellets of sin

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Fighting the Winter Blues

This time of year I always struggle with the gray days of winter. I moved from Chicago to Seattle a few years back and you'd think it would be more dreary here, but it's not. Now, don't tell anyone I said that because when you move to Seattle you have to swear a solemn oath that you'll tell everyone "it rains all the time." At any rate, we have our gray days here in the Pacific Northwest which can get depressing. But that's why we have books and movies, right?

I finally saw The Departed last weekend and was blown away. What a great movie! Excellent acting, tight story...I can see why it's up for best picture, etc. If you're not squemish about your violence, check it out on DVD. I hear it will be out next week. And if you want to see a beautifully-crafted love story in a brilliant setting, check out The Painted Veil, starring Edward Norton and Naomi Watts. ::: sigh ::: What an amazing flick.

Oh, and don't forget to enter the Intrigue Authors contest to win over a dozen books! Nothing like a little bit 'o mystery to help you escape the dreary days of winter.

What kinds of things do you do to deal with the winter blues?


Pat White

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Intrigue--Past, Present and Future

Hey, gang! (I think I've finally figured how to post my latest cover here--hope I haven't messed up anyone else's posts--this is a whole new world to me!)

I don't know if everyone is aware of what a big year this is for Harlequin Intrigue. This year (in July 2007) our 1000th!! Intrigue comes out. Incidentally, it will be A BABY BEFORE DAWN by Linda Castillo--part of the upcoming Lights Out continuity series.

I remember Intrigue back in the mid-1980's when the very first one--THE KEY by Rebecca Flanders came out. As soon as I read that book (back in college), I knew I was hooked on the line. It truly was breathtaking romantic suspense--with enough sexual tension, romance and emotional angst to make me swoon, and plenty of mystery, action and danger to keep me on the edge of my seat. Plus, being a busy college girl, I loved that I could get a complete fix of romantic suspense in a shorter, affordable format. I've read the line voraciously ever since. And now, of course, I have the pleasure of writing for the line.

Over the years there have been many fabulous authors contributing to the line--some have gone on to write other things, others have retired, and we're fortunate to still have some of those veterans with us. Plus, Intrigue continues to add exciting new authors, some who take the line in new directions, others who revisit tried and true storylines but give them a contemporary twist in a unique voice. There have been memorable mini-series--some still ongoing, some we miss, some we'll get to see again! 43 Light Street. The McKenna Legacy. The Colby Agency. The Taylor Clan. The Confidential series.

I guess I'm still rah-rah for the line because I still enjoy reading them--and I'm always thrilled to discover a new Intrigue author that I love! I've been talking with New York, and I thought I'd share some of the mini-series coming out in 2007 (and this is by no means a complete list of all that Intrigue has coming out this year). I'm sure that many of the authors taking part in these series will come to the blog and share information on their books.

Lights Out. (multi-author continuity)
The Equalizers. (a Colby Agency spin-off mini-series)
Bodyguard Unlimited (multi-author books that share a similar theme--similar to "He's A Mystery" from 2006-Jan. 07)
The Precinct: Vice Squad (a Precinct spin-off mini-series)
The Silver Star of Texas (3-author trilogy)
The Blackwell Group (a trio of British private investigators)

That's just a sampling. Like I said, 2007 has so much going on, that's it's hard to list everything here. But that's a taste of some of the current and upcoming series coming from Intrigue. And, of course, there are some fabulous stand-alone books as well to look for.

So, celebrate Intrigue's legacy of 1000 and more great romantic suspense stories. Pick up an Intrigue--and enjoy!!

Oh, and don't forget to enter the Valentine's Book Giveaway Contest from the Intrigue authors!

Julie Miller

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Romantic Suspense Movies

Did anyone catch Nora's movie, Angels Fall, last week on Lifetime? I'm a huge Nora Roberts' fan so I definitely tuned in. The verdict? I really enjoyed it. Often in TV movies, the screenplay detours greatly from the book, but other than some minor changes, this one was true to the author's original work. And Nora actually made a cameo. I thought that was cool.

Anyway, the movie got me thinking--Nora is a huge bestselling author. So why before now haven't more of her books been made into movies? For that matter, why isn't that true of other romance authors? I don't know the answer, just throwing it out there to see if someone does.

Oh, and for Nora fans, last night Montana Sky was on--loved it, too--and two more, Carolina Moon and Blue Smoke, will air the next two weeks on Lifetime.

Delores Fossen

Friday, February 2, 2007

Here Come the Texas Rangers

My latest Intrigue, TRACE EVIDENCE IN TARRANT COUNTY, is about to hit the shelves (Tuesday, Feb.13th to be exact). It’s the second book of a Texas Ranger trilogy that I’m doing with authors, Mallory Kane and Rita Herron. Mallory’s book, SIX GUN INVESTIGATION, came out last month. Rita’s book, JUSTICE FOR A RANGER, will be out in March. The trilogy is about three Texas Rangers brothers who are on assignment to clear their father’s name and stop a killer from going after the people they love.

I’m more than a little excited about these books and not just because I’m a transplanted Texas and not just because I love cowboy cop stories. It’s because I’m fascinated with Texas Rangers and actually had the honor of meeting the first female Texas Ranger, Marrie Garcia, when she came to speak at the RWA chapter in San Antonio. Sgt. Garcia had some fantastic stories, and I took plenty of notes. That’s when I decided I had to write about these guys.

So, what about you—what kind of Intrigue hero do you like best?