New Cover
Monday, December 11th, 2006 11 Comments »

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Really delighted to get the cover for Antonia’s Bargain, my Regency-set erotic romance. It’s due out on January 10th. I think they’ve done a beautiful job. It’s subtle, dark and sexy. Who can ask for more?

It’s been a chaotic week for various reasons. My brain seems to be trying to do too many things at once (what’s new?)

On the family front, I almost managed to run my own child down when I dropped him off at school. I didn’t realize that he was still holding on to the side of the car when he bent to pick up his bag and off I went. I heard this thunking sound and immediately stopped when I realized I couldn’t see son #2 anymore. The dog fell off the back seat as I stopped so suddenly so no one was happy with me. I dashed out of the car to check son and he told me in no uncertain terms to go away because I was embarrassing him (did I mention he’s 15?)Realizing he had no injuries, I grinned at him and went to get in the car, only to notice that rather a lot of people were staring at me as if I was an ax murderer…he told me later that one of his friends said, “Dude, your mom was laughing at you.” Son shrugged and said “Yeah, she’s cool like that.”

I need son #2 to show me how to use Myspace properly. So far I have a measly 14 friends and no idea what I’m doing. Mr Kate doesn’t do Myspace so it’s back to begging help from the kids. So embarrassing.

Check me out!

I’m also way behind on the xmas shopping and still have a few cards to send across the ocean to my lovely British family and friends. The tree hasn’t gone up yet either as Mr Kate has just left for Beijing. He just called me from the plane to tell me he got upgraded to business class so he was a very happy bunny indeed!

I’m sure there is more that I’m supposed to be telling you. Ah yes! I’m involved in 2 more joint blog projects: The HEA Cafe, which is a joint blog for all the RWAOnline published authors and Lust Bites, a new blog for Virgin Black Lace and Cheek authors.
I’m a bit worried when I’m going to find the time to write these days what with all these promotional activities!

My little doggie
Thursday, November 30th, 2006 7 Comments »

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Here’s a more recent picture of Hunter-he’s such a cutie! he has the same problem as me when he’s in a photo-our big googly eyes can sometimes appear a little too googly. I’m seriously thinking of putting a photo of me up on this blog but maybe I’ll pretend I’m the dog for a bit longer-cos who could resist that face?

As I appear to be the only person who hasn’t blogged about this-can I tell you that I was offered a 2 book contract for my erotic Regencies by John Scognamiglio at Kensington Aphrodisia? He made an offer 24 hours after receiving the proposal from my oh so awesome agent Deidre Knight. Gotta love a woman who can get you an NY publishing contract first time out of the starting blocks!

Of course being as this is publishing, the opportunities for self doubt and imaginative thinking are endless-(authors are like that you know). Verbal contracts can take a while to become paper contracts or real books so I’m not expecting to see anything concrete until 2008.Can’t wait to lick the covers…

But I’m seriously delighted to have been offered this opportunity by Kensington. They really are envelope-pushers and I think my new books will fit there very well. In case anyone is worried-I’ll still be writing the futuristics for Ellora’s Cave. After all I have 3 strapping intergalactic vikings to find partners for!

More news from Michelle Buonfiglio at Romance B(u)y the Book
Hot Topic Week: Eros, Erotica, and Erotic Romance, Dec. 4-8

This week of GuestBlogs is constructed to get a dialogue going about
what erotica and erotic romance are and are not, as well as what access
to the literature has done for women who read it. Bestselling author
Ian Kerner, Ph.D. also will discuss women and sexual fantasy. Here’s the
line-up:

Kate Duffy, Senior Editor, Brava/Kensington, 12.4
Adam Nevill, Author/Erotica Editor, Virgin Books, 12.5
Jaid Black, Author/CEO Ellora’s Cave, 12.6
Ian Kerner, Ph.D., Author/Sex and Relationships expert, 12.7
Emma Holly, Author, 12.8

the link is on my link page-or it’s at: romancebytheblog.blogspot
I like Michelle a lot and really appreciate the way she uses her blog to discuss these hot topics. And as I now write for Kensington, Virgin and Ellora’s Cave I feel I really should be there to share an opinion or two!

Politics anyone?
Monday, November 13th, 2006 9 Comments »

I don’t really understand the politics of my new home country yet. I like to watch the news shows and see how riled up everyone gets though. It’s much easier to appreciate bits of policy from both sides when you don’t have a vote and don’t have to make a choice.

On the night before the mid-term elections, Mr Kate me and the dog were sitting in bed watching Msnbc when Howard Dean came on. He seemed remarkably chipper and I remarked to Mr. Kate that it was obviously okay for him because even if politics didn’t work out for him he still had his sausage business.

There was silence for several minutes while Mr K stared at me. “His sausage business?”
Me nodding vigorously even as a faint shadow of doubt enters my mind.
Mr K: “Howard Dean doesn’t own a sausage business. That’s Jimmy Dean.”
Me: “Are you sure?”
Mr K: “Absolutely sure. (idiot)” that last bit was muttered so that I almost didn’t catch it.
Me; “Well they sound the same and I don’t eat sausages so how was I to know?”

Kate resolves to do a quick google on the Dean’s just to make sure. maybe they are long lost twins or bro’s.
And guess what? Mr Kate was right-again. They are two different people!

Other news!
Sex and Shopping came out in the UK this week! So if anyone who reads this bought it, be sure to post a review on amazon!

The edits are in for “Antonia’s Bargain” so I should have a cover and a release date for you all soon.

Someone actually bought my short story The Talisman at the Wild Rose Press and liked it enough to post a review-aw shucks-and before you ask-no, it wasn’t someone I knew.

This website finaled in the Sacramento Valley Rose Web Site contest in the homegrown category so major kudos to Mr K and son number 1 for working so hard to make it nice.

And just in case you are wondering, Hunter has settled in really well. We all love him-apart from the snoring of course!

Here he is!
Monday, November 6th, 2006 10 Comments »

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The dog’s here!
Sunday, November 5th, 2006 3 Comments »

As usual, I got my way, and the doggie is here! He is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. His breed name is bigger than he is and his full name even longer. According to his AKC papers he is called ‘Sir Hunter Chips O’Boys’. I call him Hunter, Mr Kate thinks he should be Chip’s Ahoy and my 4 yr old daughter insists his name is Sprinkles.
Confused? Well the dog probably is.

I’ll be posting some photo’s of him when Mr K lets me because he is adorably cute. (the dog not Mr K) (well Mr K is adorably cute too but…) oh hell…

So far, Hunter seems to believe that he is part of me. At this moment, he’s tucked into the foot space under my desk with his head on my toes. He likes to be close to people and gets a bit anxious when it looks like he might be left behind. And no wonder. His whole life has changed and he definitely needs a lot of TLC to help him cope.

Mr K has been favorably impressed by the dog’s daytime behavior. Unfortunately, he’s not quite so keen on his night time habits. Hunter wants to sleep on my face and he snores very loudly. Neither of which make for a quiet nights sleep. I constantly relocate him down to the end of the bed but he commando crawls up during the night. I don’t like to feel constricted when I sleep, so the face sitting doesn’t work for me. The snoring isn’t so bad because-hey-I already share a bed with Mr K. But Mr Kate hates the snoring. I suspect we are both going to have to get used to it…or persuade one of the kids to let him sleep on their bed instead!

Whenever we take Hunter out, we get surrounded by people who want to pet him. Mr Kate and I reckoned that if he went out alone with the dog in his Ferrari then he would be besieged by women and I’d probably never see him again.

My cat is very unhappy with me at the moment.

To get back to the writing world. I did remarkably well in the RWAOnline KIA contest despite writing very little new stuff. I edited over 400 pages though which gave me enough points to be the top Dirty Damsel and a contender for overall winner. amazing what a million edits can do!

I’m expecting a lot more this month too. Sometimes it’s just like that. Manuscripts are like boomerangs-you keep sending them out and they keep coming right back at you! I quite enjoy editing but sometimes I just want to write the shitty first draft and forget about questioning every comma, word or weird English spelling.

I’m participating in Michelle Pillow’s Romance Junkies Scavenger Hunt this month so if you fancy winning a prize, check out my website and click on the link to take you to the contest page. There are some great prizes there!

And as an afterthought from last week’s blog, I’ve decided that hamster’s are definitely the most unpleasant children’s pet ever. I’ve heard so many horrific stories about them recently that I’m wondering whether I should start an anti Hamster group. If its illegal to have Ferrets as household pets in California then why should we be allowed to keep hamsters hmm?

A sweet day!
Friday, October 27th, 2006 7 Comments »

There has been a tussle in Kate’s head as naughty Kate Pearce has finally been gagged, tied up and dumped in the corner so that nice Kate can hijack this blog.

Nice Kate has a nice short story coming out today from The Wild Rose Press
(who are very good people to work with)

The story is called “The Talisman” and it’s set in England after WWII when an injured US airman comes back to the village he was stationed in during the war to see if he can find his lucky charm.

I wrote it quite a while ago and only remembered it when my crit partner Dana Mentink suggested I send something in to them. (She has 2 books coming out with TWRP soon and she is a fabulous writer!)Well, when I say suggested, I mean nagged but then that’s what crit partners are there for isn’t it?

The link to the TWRP is on my website if anyone would like to go and check out that Kate can actually write something without a single rude word in it.
My mother will be proud of me. I even dedicated the book to her!

Other news-we have found a dog! I’m so excited, and no, it’s not a chicken breast although I have to say that Lillian’s Chinese crested hairless doggie did come quite close to the Mr Kate criteria. It’s a 3 year old Cavalier King Charles spaniel called Hunter.
He’s arriving on Tuesday so I’ll tell you all about him then.

I’d rather have a bow wow wow
Friday, October 13th, 2006 12 Comments »

The first thing on my mind for this blog is pets. Having a family of 4, we’ve had a few. There was the ferocious iguana who attacked anyone who tried to open his habitat, the snake which had to be fed live mice (shriek!)the hermit crabs-I personally liked them a lot as they didn’t get out much and the big drama of choosing a new shell? Better than any reality show. BTW-I noticed in Petco recently that they now sell ‘bling’ for your hermit crab-no kidding.

So son number 2 is having a birthday and he wants 2 goldfish-he has already named them Rocky and Ringo. Fish are okay, I suppose, although I suspect these will not have a long and happy life due to No. 2 son’s desire to poke and prod and fiddle with everything until it breaks. We shall see how it goes.

I have a cat, he’s the only pet who has managed to survive our family for several years mainly because he treats us with total contempt, probably has at least three other families feeding him and weighs twenty pounds. Nothing gets to him much and I like that in a pet.

We did have a dog once but true to our good choosing skills he turned out to be completely neurotic. It’s obviously catching. I’d just like to mention at this point in case Mr Kate is reading this blog, that I didn’t want a dog and I was right wasn’t I?

Now I want a dog. Having 3 teenage sons I’ve realized that I want to return to a time of uncritical adoration and unconditional love. Mr Kate insists I get that from him already but I know his attentions are shared between me, his daughter, his mother and his horse.Oh I forgot his car. I”m not quite sure where I come on this list and I’m afraid to ask.

My boys and I recently sat Mr K down and asked him about what he wanted in a dog. He decided it needed to a) have no hair b) not bark or whimper c) not drool d) not smell and e) be small.
We concluded that he’d be better off with a skinless chicken breast.

I want a King Charles spaniel-I look a bit like one apparently, so growing to look like my dog would be easy. And I quite fancy the idea of my photo in the back of one of my mega selling books clasping said spaniel to my face. Can’t you just picture it?

While you get over that horrific image, let me change the subject and talk about my upcoming short story in “Sex and Shopping” Changing Rooms. I got my advance copy of the book today and it was a thrill to finally see a real print book with my name in it. And yes, of course I licked the cover! Last time I looked, Amazon UK had the book at 3.99 so rush out and pre order your copy now! (there’s a direct link on my website) That’s for the Brits who read this blog. It comes out in the US at the end of December so you all know what you are getting for Christmas now don’t you?

It also made me wonder, oh blog readers,what’s the worst pet you’ve ever had?

Chocolate bunnies and Jelly beans
Wednesday, October 4th, 2006 5 Comments »

I get the impression that many of you who read this blog think my life is full of rainbows, chocolate bunnies and jelly beans. Well, it is, mainly because my daughter insists that I must dream about these things every night, and sometimes it isn’t because I have 3 teenage sons who are kind of gross.

Today, my glamorous life involved buying vast quantities of cleaning products and gallons of milk at Target. Of course I also had to fork out mega dollars for the necessary piece of over-sized pink plastic my daughter insists she needs-I believe we’re into Littlest Pet Shop now having bought up every bit of Polly Pocket available.

Back to the cleaning products. Two of my teenage sons share a bathroom. I hate going in there because they are seriously disgusting. No one ever throws out a shampoo bottle or shower gel, puts a toilet roll on the hanger or cleans out the bath. They both insist it is the other’s job/fault if the place gets dirty.

This time the bath has soap scum, long hair and unmentionables floating around in an inch of soapy water. I had to forsake my environmental concerns and resort to Drano and clean the bath. Mr Kate refuses to go into their bathroom because he fears he might kill someone (and he’s probably right for cleanliness is his god) So guess who has to do it?

So my life isn’t always full of chocolate bunnies. But, okay, I am still very lucky.

People keep telling me how sad I’ll feel when my kids leave home to go to college or get jobs. I look at them funny and think, hell NO! I was one of those mum’s who danced away from school on the first morning cackling with joy. I want a portion of my life back please! I love them all but still…can I have my life back please?
My own mother insists that you never quite get rid of them even when they are old and she should know. My dad always said that the wedding present he wanted from each of us when we left was our house key-I think he was joking.

Writing news-more jelly beans! I’ve been offered representation by The Knight Agency! Amazing but true! I’ll get the website and blog up on my site asap (or asamkgrti as soon as Mr Kate gets round to it) I’m looking forward to a new challenge.

Things I’ve learned since living in the USA
1. You can put mail in your mail box as well as take it out (only took me 2 years to figure that out)
2. When someone asks you what state you are in, they don’t mean mental.
3. Herb is pronounced ‘erb’ like the French but coupe is pronounced coop and not coopay (like the French)
4. Fags are not cigarettes and rubbers are not for erasing pencil marks
5. People get concerned when you tell them the Brits put a Guy on the fire and burn him to celebrate Bonfire night.

There are more but I’ll get to them next week!

Vehicularly Challenged
Tuesday, September 19th, 2006 8 Comments »

I think I’ve worked out why I’ve got two tickets this year and none in the preceeding fouteen years. It’s my car’s fault.

Up until just under a year ago I drove great big vehicles filled with my kids, their friends, their bags and anything else I could squeeze in there. Did I ever get stopped by the police? No, because I was too busy driving the monster things. But now after a mini rebellion, I have this beeyootiful BMW which truly wants me to drive faster.

And the police seem to like it too. After my second ticket this one was for not doing a full 3 second stop at a stop line (I did a 1 second stop apparently)I realized that I’m going to have to drive completely by the book for the next 18 months to avoid Mr Kate’s wrath about the insurance rates. That depressed me because I have this gorgeous car and I might as well have a pushbike.

What is the point of having said sexy car if I’m worried about being tempted to break that 3-second stop rule again? I told Mr Kate that if I do get stopped again, I’m not, (stopping that is)-I’m going to make sure I do something worthy of a ticket like speeding down the freeway the wrong way. Or I might leap out of the car and try and strangle the police officer at which point he will either shoot me or send me to jail. Mr Kate says that there is something very wrong with my value system if I’m willing to go that far just to prove a point but I think he’s just worried about being left with the kids.

So I think I’ll go back to driving the big 8 seater and leave the BMW for Mr K-which was probably part of his evil plan anyway.

Other news-We were thinking about getting a home help type of person who could take the boys to school, do a bit of housework and generally make our lives run smoother. The other day I passed Mr Kate a page of adverts for Nanny/homehelp type people. A little while later I found him and eldest son looking up aupairs on the computer.Both of them seemed very keen on the idea. I had to have a ‘little chat’ withthem both to straighten them out. Cheeky.

I’ve signed the contract for Antonia’s Bargain for EC. No idea when it will come out yet but I’ll let you all know as soon as I do.
I also sold a very sweet story to The Wild Rose Press a new internet publisher. It doesn’t even have a kiss in it! Can you believe it? Finally something my mother can read…

And a final piece of shameless self-promotion-if you have time, go and check out the Avon Fan Lit chapter contest. Mine is called “The Spy who left me” write a snarky comment, give me a star or 5 and I’ll be a happy girl!

Plane Journeys with a 4 year old
Sunday, September 10th, 2006 5 Comments »

My advice? Don’t do it. Or find some legal way of drugging the little darling.
My daughter is a sweetie but I seriously wanted to murder her about 6 hours into our return journey from the UK. She was bored sitting in her tiny space, she wanted to jump up and down and jiggle her hair and scream-and so did I but for slightly different reasons. I felt so bad for the very nice guy who had to sit next to us.

I was deeply grateful for the large activity and sticker book I picked up for her in the Early Learning Center. We colored and stickered for hours. At least she didn’t throw up on the return journey altho she had great fun pretending to do so-just to keep me on my toes of course!

I didn’t get to read a page of my book either way. I must confess I did stick my ipod on for about 40 minutes so I couldn’t hear her too well-but I swear I still continued to crayon and smile brightly.

The wedding was lovely. The reception was held in a very old posting house (inn) called The Angel on Guildford High Street. Apparently Jane Austen and the Duke of Wellington stayed there-not sure if that was at the same time but it certainly was historic. Our room was up in the eaves of the house through several winding corridors, fire doors and dead ends which made me worry that I’d need to leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind me to ever find it again.

My daughter couldn’t quite believe how many aunties, uncles and cousins she had and spent quite a while hiding behind me until she realized that everyone was delighted to see her and that she could run around from group to group. Everyone seemed to have a great time although we had to go to bed just after nine because of the jet lag. My daughter fell asleep on the couch so I arranged her pillows and covers over her and left her be.

I managed to get in a little shopping. Mainly for sweets, crisps and biscuits which all my boys back home, including Mr Kate were eagerly anticipating. Actually,they all complained that I should’ve brought more. But I was a bit worried how I would explain a suitcase full of tea bags and Haribo at customs.

I even went to the old sweet shop in Bishops Stortford (my old home town) where they still measure the sweets out of a big jar just to get my favorite toffee bon-bons. This shop smells just like the one I used to go to as a child to buy my dad’s favorite request-’half oz of golden virginia and a packet of green papers’ Never occurred to me that I was aiding his smoking habit.

It’s good to be back. After eight years in the USA I don’t really feel like I quite belong in England any more-although I don’t feel I quite belong in California either (but who does?)Emotionally I’m somewhere in between as half my family are in the UK and my own family, Mr Kate and the kids, are in the US. My kids don’t really remember England at all so all their memories are here.

Writing news-I came back to find that Harlequin Mills and Boon had rejected my Regency set historical “Dishonor and Desire” but said some very nice things about my writing.
Ellora’s Cave have bought the follow-up to ‘Eden’s Pleasure’ which is called
“Antonia’s Bargain” and concentrates on the other twin, Gideon Harcourt.I’m very pleased with this one.
Romantic Times only gave me 2 stars for EP ouch-I think my subject matter was a little out there for the reviewer although she did say I showed promise.
As Mr Kate said-all publicity is good publicity!

I’m trying to write a shortish story to get me back in the writing groove so I’d better get on!