Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Welcome Cat Dubie!

Thanks so much, Jennifer, for hosting me on your entertaining blog today! I’m happy to have an opportunity to showcase my Historical Western Romance, The Queen of Paradise Valley.

Source of my writing inspiration:
When I was about twelve I started sneakily reading novels from my father’s library, naughty bits and all. Mysteries, thrillers, men’s adventure, historical from biblical times to the 19th century, and a slew of Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey Westerns. Each of these novels became a cog on the wheel of future writing possibilities, a permanent fixture in my mind.
As I grew older I discovered family sagas and gothic romances, women in jeopardy, and semi-sexy historical series. For me, reading always leads to writing. I planned on writing mysteries, historical sagas, and Western novels, all with the strong heroines many of the early books lacked.
I was writing a historical western at the time I discovered sensual Historical Romances. I revised my story to include a passionate romance, and at once the queue of stories in my head insisted on similar romantic freedoms. My heroines demanded equally strong heroes and a happy ending. I could not deny them!   

Blurb:
Diana Rennie, daughter of a wealthy rancher, attempts to persuade mystery man Del Russell to leave his grievances behind and forgive her father for past mistakes. Her careful plan goes awry and results in a shotgun wedding and a prison sentence for Del. 

Four years later, Del is back in her life with a vengeance—back for his rightful share of Diana's ranch, back to prove he isn't the criminal she thought he was, back to finish what the two of them started years ago in a passionate daze. And he isn’t going anywhere, no matter what beautiful, treacherous Diana does or says to try to get rid of him. 

Excerpt:
But eventually she went to her room. So warm. Someone was keeping the fireplace well-fed lest the invalid get a chill. Without a glance at the bed, she strode to her bureau and opened a drawer. Why didn't he say anything? If he was asleep she could avoid a confrontation. She took a chance, looked into a mirror and saw her own pink-cheeked face, and Del, gazing at her with half-closed eyes, a cryptic smile on his lips.
Flustered by the weight of his gaze, she lifted several nightgowns out of the drawer, then turned to face him. "I needed some things. Teresa refuses to fetch them."
He didn't speak but continued looking at her. Propped up by pillows, a quilt drawn to his bandage, he was bare-chested, all black hair and hard muscles. Much too masculine for the lace trimmed pillowslips and the elegant roses embroidered on the quilt. Ebony dozed on the floor at the foot of the bed. Another traitor.  Like everyone else at the ranch.
She licked her dry lips. "Will you be able to move back to your room soon?"
A shrug lifted one shoulder. "Soon's doc says I can. Are you keeping my bed warm?"
"I've been sleeping in Randy's room." Face tingling, she hugged the clothes and looked aside. "Why don't you ask Alfredo to give you a shave?"
"Alfredo's busy. Why don't you do it for me?"
Her gaze swung back to him. "Ha. Put a razor in my hand I just might slit your throat."
“Diana." His tone was softly chiding and she stared at him in surprise. "I trust you. Why don't you trust me? Come sit so we can talk."
Despite her reluctance, she perched on a chair beside the bed and looked out the window.  What did he want to say? Why didn't he get it over with? She asked, "How do you feel?"
“Like I’ve had a bullet carved out of my side. Like I've had my flesh stitched together. Want to see it?"
"Oh no. No!" Embarrassed, she added, "I can't look. I–I have an aversion to the sight of human blood. I panic. I can look at animals covered with blood, dead or dying. But wounded people--never." Damn, she was jabbering. She rubbed her brow.  "I--didn't mean to shoot you. It--just happened."

Buy links:

Author bio:
Cat Dubie believes she was destined to write. Her love of words began early – she was making rhymes soon after learning to talk. With a crayon in hand she first drew stories, with a pencil she wrote them. As for reading, she was the girl who always had her nose in a book, the one who read with a flashlight under the covers or, when the moon was full, sat by a window for hours laughing, crying, loving characters whose adventurous lives wouldn't let her sleep.

She has traveled the world in books. She has traveled back in time and into the future in books. er keen interest in history determined the nature of her books, and the first Historical romance novel she read, settled the genre.

After working for various levels of government, she retired and now lives in the beautiful province of British Columbia, where she indulges in her need for creating stories about romance, adventure, passion, mystery, love ...

Social media links:
twitter:  @CatDubie        https://twitter.com/catdubie



Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Mondays

I’m pretending today is Monday. Yesterday was actually Monday, but yesterday was a terrible day. So I’m pretending it didn’t happen. I want a do-over.

See, I love Mondays. It’s the beginning of a new week. The house is empty once again with everyone else back in school or work. I’m inspired and motivated. If my FitBit tracked productivity rather than steps, you’d see a huge uptick on Mondays, followed by a slow but steady decline the rest of the week.
This is sort of what it would look like--it was the closest graph I could find. At least the shape is close!

It’s the same reason why I love the new year, both Jewish and secular. I get a chance to start again—to make myself a better person (or try; I’m a work in progress) and I get to set a goal of cleaning out the house (which, when living with a bunch of packrats is a never-ending battle).

I love the beginning of each season, too. The first snow is exciting, the leavings beginning to turn, the trees beginning to bud, the first warm day. Of course, since there are only about 3 days a year whose temperature keeps me comfortable, I’m usually done with the seasons after that, but it’s the beginnings that I love.


So you all go along with your Tuesday. I know I’m in the minority when it comes to loving Mondays. But I’m still going to pretend.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Monday, January 22, 2018

Second Semester

College Girl is heading back to school today after a tremendously long winter break. It’s been lovely having her home—she brings joy and excitement into the house (as well as a REALLY loud voice), but I can tell she’s itching to get back to her friends.

We were pretty chill about coming back into the fold. We vacationed together and had a lot of meals together, but there was plenty of time for her to go off on her own and hang out with friends or even visit the when they, like practically the entire rest of the collegiate world, went back to school before her. She slept late, ate breakfast and lunch at weird hours, and added in additional food at odd times occasionally.

There was very little fighting between her and her sister, other than a passive/aggressive “game” involving hiding Banana Girl’s hairbrush in the sink because she was taking over too much of the bathroom. This resulted in Banana Girl doing the same to College Girl’s hairbrush and reminding her that she “really doesn’t live here anymore.” Oops.

So now we’re stuffing last minute items into the suitcase, making piles of things that need to be shipped, and preparing to go to the train. This time around, I know that I’ll talk and text her multiple times a day or week as long as I leave it to her to initiate (ha! Didn’t take me long AT ALL to learn that trick). And I’m thrilled that she’s happy enough to be eager to return.


Let the second semester begin!

Monday, January 15, 2018

#AmEditing

The thing about writing is that to some extent, I can make my own schedule. I can write when I want, working around other things. Of course, that assumes my muse is cooperating and that I’m inspired at the time I sit down to write. I can write until I’m finished, not worrying about anything other than finishing the book.

When it comes to editing, however, I have less flexibility. Usually, I’m editing according to someone else’s deadline. If I want my book published, I have to accommodate the needs of content editors, copy editors, layout people, etc. So when they send me something, everything else I might be working on has to be put off to the side so I can meet my deadlines.

Currently, I’m entering into the editing phase. I’ve been editing my own manuscripts for a while now, polishing them in order to get them ready to submit to my critique partners, or incorporating my critique partners’ comments into a manuscript I’m preparing to submit to my editor. But now, a bunch of different projects are coming together and for the next few weeks I’ll be busy.

My editor will be sending me my galleys any day now (I’ve been saying that for weeks, but really, it’s true) and I’ll have about a week to scour every word, letter, space and punctuation mark for accuracy before turning it back in and getting a release date for Five Minutes to Love—the sequel to Addicted to Love.

I’m also working on a self-publishing project and the editor I hired just returned my manuscript to me with all of her comments. They’re fantastic, but whoa, there are a lot of them. So for the next month, I’ll be working on those a little at a time. I can’t spend entire days on them because of other things going on and the fact that I’ll go batty. So I need to space it out a bit. But when I’m done, that manuscript is going to shine!

And finally, I’m judging a writing contest, so I have books to read. While I don’t have to edit them per se, I have to evaluate them for a variety of criteria, and there’s a deadline for me to complete them. So in between editing, I’ll be reading.


Insider tip: Now is a great time to invest in Advil, as I’ll be taking a lot of it! J

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Zipper

I’m not a klutz. Granted, we all have times when our actions are less than Fred Astaire-like, but in general, I can walk and chew gum at the same time. In fact, at times I’m downright graceful.

I’m also not stupid. I graduated from a well-respected university, have an excellent command of the English language and received good grades throughout my life.

But even graceful, intelligent people screw up, and when we do so, well...we blog about it.

My daughter’s jacket was broken. Now, first of all, I should say, this is a winter jacket she’s been wearing all season that neither one of us recognized. It was a color I don’t remember buying, with a hood of fake fur she’s never asked for. Frankly, I thought it might have been left in our house by a friend. And since it was hanging on our coat rack for months, I decided that if it wasn’t purchased by us, possession was nine-tenths of the law and it was ours now. Especially because it was a coat my daughter actually wanted to wear (as opposed to all the others she studiously avoided, regardless of the temperature).

So when she started wearing it, I was happy. I didn’t even mind that she wasn’t zipping it because, well, people have different body temperatures and I decided if she were cold enough, she’d zip it.

And then we had the deep freeze. The one where our thermometers are in the negative numbers and the wind chill takes your breath away. It was during this lovely blast of Mother Nature’s wrath that she and her youth group were going into New York City to feed and clothe the homeless. There was no way she was going with an open coat.

The only problem was that apparently the zipper was actually broken. The slider opening was closed, preventing the insert pin from being able to be inserted. The jacket was unzippable.

Normal people would say, “Go find another jacket.” Which I did. But I was also stubborn and decided I could fix the jacket by opening the slider. It had originally been open. Something just squeezed the two sides together, which meant I should be able to open them again. Only I couldn’t.

So then I forgot that I was a smart and graceful person and did something stupid and klutzy. I took a steak knife and tried to open the slider. The only thing I succeeded in opening was my thumb.


Which was no help at all for the zipper.