Latest News about THE MUSE UNLOCKED and Book Teasers Roundup

Is it really Thursday already?

Oh my.

This week has been a blur in every sense of the word.

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I won’t keep you long. Your day is almost over. For some of my friends on the other side of a big pool of Atlantic water, the evening’s already winding down.

I get that. I too am ready to call it a day. Except for that big pile of work sitting on my desk. Maybe if I just go in the other room and sit elsewhere I can casually forget about it.

Yeah. I know. That doesn’t really work. Not for long, at any rate.

I have some updates on the book front to share with you, as I continue to gear up for a JUNE 2013 release of my first book, a contemporary romance novel THE MUSE UNLOCKED.

I have a final cover… oooooooh! Now it’s just a matter of time and manner to unveil. I’m whipping up a little plan and hope to have that to share with you soon. Covers take time – finding just the right image, the right feel to convey what this book is all about, and this one didn’t veer off that usual path but now that it is done, I can tell you: I am quite excited about it and can’t wait to show you the final design!!

Ooh, and I’m hearing some lovely exclamations coming from my editor’s office, so this could be encouraging. She’s already indicated that she had a hard time focusing on proofing during one of the scenes because she – ahem – got distracted in the moment. That sounds promising to me! 😉 And all a writer can ever ask for! I should be able to do any clean up for the book over the next week or two, and make it available to you as an e-book by late May or June 1 as planned. Fingers crossed!!

And I’m very excited that I get to meet tomorrow with a wonderful person who is going to help me figure out the best way to share Cate and Oliver with the world, and there will be many cool things to tell you about happening over the next few months so stay tuned for all of that news as it becomes available.

I’ve had a few people ask me about book teasers. Some missed my earlier blogs during which I shared four different snippets from the book over the course of last month and this month.

So to make it more convenient,  I thought I’d share those links here again so you can go right to the blogs easily and scroll down to check out the teasers if you haven’t already. May is nearly here and something tells me that I may wish to share a little something else with my friends…more on that to come!

 

BOOK TEASERS FOR THE MUSE UNLOCKED

Teaser #1 – Introducing…Oliver and Cate

Teaser #2 – …Another Book Teaser for You

Teaser #3 – Big Cheers, Small Victories and Book Teasers

Teaser #4 – Overjoyed…Spilling Over (Teeny-Tiny Itsy-Bitsy Excerpt)

Tomorrow, I’m excited to invite another talented guest blogger to take the keys and drive this spaceship for the day as my special guest as part of CHRIS’S CORNER. This week, we’re celebrating…”them.” You know ’em. The wild ones, the rebels, the ones who feel it necessary to go it alone with an independent streak running down their back.

The Indie Author. Mmm-mmm-mmm. My new genus species that I myself have recently adopted!

You won’t want to miss it. Have a good night, folks. Settle in, put your feet up, catch up on some blogs, check out those teasers for some titillating moments and we’ll talk again…tomorrow.

Happy reading!
ck

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Overjoyed and Spilling Over

I’m going to quote one of my favorite contemporary romance authors M. Leighton and an exclamation found frequently sprawled across her Twitter and Facebook pages.

YAAAAHOOOOOO!

Yep. That about covers it.

The damage has been done.
The road has been traveled.
The email has zoomed outta there, from drafts to sent folder.
No turning back now.

The plump lady has sung, and in this case read, re-read, tweaked, paced, read, re-read some more, slept on it (literally) and quite possibly, done everything else she can other than roast, steam, rotisserrie or fondue the original draft of her first novel. It is now officially in the editor’s hands to wield whatever powerful magic spoon she has to whip up something tasty and decadent.

For the next several weeks, I must put that part of the job out of my mind and focus on all of the other fun pieces that go along with it…like website elements, book covers, playlists (yes, you can definitely count on that from this music-loving maniac), marketing and more.

In the meantime, I’m feeling generous. Here’s an ever-so-brief little passage from a phone conversation between Cate and Oliver. A short but sweet book teaser…just for you.

Happy reading!
ck

A TEENY-TINY, ITSY-BITSY EXCERPT FROM
THE MUSE UNLOCKED
COMING JUNE 2013

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Both became silent. She adjusted her position in the tub, and water slipped over the rim.

 “Are you taking a bath?”

 “Um. Yes.”

 Oliver let out a long exhale. “You realize I’m not going to be able to let you hang up now.”

 “Why?”

 “Because if I were there, I would be kissing your lips…licking your neck…sucking on your breast…stroking your thighs…and many other incredible things in that general vicinity.”

 Cate sat up in the tub, a smile curling up the ends of her lips. “Mr. Sand, are you trying to seduce me?”

 “Would you like me to seduce you?” he whispered hoarsely.

Cate chuckled. “I love The Graduate. Wait a second. Are you Mrs. Robinson in this scene? Good for you playing against type.”

“I do what I can.  So what can I do for you, beautiful?”

 

Signed, Sealed, Delivered…Soon, Baby!

 ????????????????????????????????????????I’m excited about tonight.

For one thing, I’m finally getting to meet an author that I’ve communicated with virtually for over five years yet I’ve never met her. When I was the editor for a local women’s magazine, I interviewed her (by phone) for our online edition and wrote a profile about her. Tonight, I’m going to her book signing and I couldn’t be happier for her. I’ll finally get a chance to say hello in person, maybe give her a hug because I feel like I know her and buy a signed copy of her book.

The other reason I’m especially interested in going is for the book signing itself. I think I’ve only gone to two such events before – ever. And yet, in less than three months, I plan to publish my own book, THE MUSE UNLOCKED. As strange as the concept sounds as it reverberates off of the rubber walls of my kooky, confounded mind, I expect that I will be doing a book signing or two of my own.

Gulp.

I won’t lie to you. A sudden bolt of panic just shot through me at the concept of holding a book signing and…<crickets> The room is empty. Like hosting a party, and no one showing up. Besides, who would want me signing anything? I have really shitty penmanship. I guess I’d better practice my signature before then, huh?

Neurotic, I know.

I’ve heard theories that all performers, artists and writers have deep-seated psychoses and neuroses, so perhaps I should find this latest revelation of the breadth of my insecurities encouraging. Maybe I do have the right stuff to make the big time after all!

<More crickets.>

Or maybe not.

Aah, there’s my good friend, Self-Doubt. Back from a sabbatical, I see. May I introduce you to the rest of your table party for the evening, Dr. Doom,  Miss Melodrama and Sir Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

So, yes, I will go to the book signing tonight. And no, I am not seeing a therapist. Yet.

There have been plenty of book signing opportunities I could have attended over the past six months if my only reason for going were for research purposes. I truly am going to this particular signing to support my friend. But I expect I probably will be recording some mental notes, too.

And somewhere deep, deep, deeeeeeep in the dark, cobweb-covered recesses of my brain, there’s a little gawky cheerleader doing cartwheels and leaps into the air getting ready for the summer adventures that await.

Saturday Means…Another Book Teaser for You

Last week, I shared with those who have been following along a little snippet from my upcoming book THE MUSE UNLOCKED, and introduced its leads Cate Mullen and Oliver Sand. Cate, 38, is an established author and TV and film screenwriter, and Oliver, 28, a rising young star who has experienced some early success in television and in supporting film roles. He has been cast to star as the leading man in Cate’s latest film project Madly. 

Recently, I blogged about my reasons for writing a book, and in particular, for writing this book and for this genre.  I’ve appreciated the encouraging feedback I’ve received about that blog as well as the one book teaser I’ve released so far. I was thrilled that a handful of you were already demanding a little more. Those of you who know me know that I am, after all, a people pleaser, so…I didn’t want to disappoint.

I do hope that you will continue to enjoy getting to know the characters as much as I have these past six months. Here is another little peek into Cate and Oliver’s lives as I share a new, slightly more extended scene with you as the two chat at her suburban L.A. home.

Happy reading!
ck

AN EXCERPT FROM THE MUSE UNLOCKED, 
COMING JUNE 2013

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Cate reached down to her coffee table and moved aside a landscape photography book to pull out a collection of Impressionist works. She thumbed through the index and located the page, straddling the large book across both of their laps so Oliver could view it.

 

“Wow, I see what you’re talking about. She doesn’t seem to be the least bothered that someone is poking their head into the room. She’s just there on display, peach buds and all,” he grinned slyly as he looked up at Cate who chuckled.

 

“At least she had the decency to cover up her naughty bits. And wear a flower in her hair,” she smiled back at him. “The painting wasn’t really appreciated very much then, but I think in its own way, it was as beautiful and magical as earlier works by some of the Renaissance artists who liked to place great goddesses on a pedestal. Literally. It’s a double standard. I think that’s why I like Manet so much. He didn’t worry about what people were going to think. He just created what he felt he needed to create and let the chips fall afterward.” She took a sip of her wine and looked over at him as he watched her, mouth slightly open and faint smile overtaking his lips.

 

“I like this Manet guy. Not worrying about what others think, just going with his gut.” Oliver studied his glass of wine. “I try to listen to my instinct but it can be tough.”

 

“In what way?”

 

“Out here in Hollywood, you have a lot of voices in your ear at all times telling you what they think you should be doing. But you learn right away that many of them aren’t looking out for you at all.”

 

Cate tilted her head and set the bottom of the glass on her lap. “So how do you do it? Manage all of that…noise?”

 

Oliver stopped studying his wine to look up at her. “I have to tune out any of those voices that aren’t in my best interest and focus only on those that are.”

 

“But how do you know?”

 

“You don’t. So you do what that painter did. You trust your gut and you let the chips fall. You listen to your heart, to what it’s telling you.”

 

Cate found herself gazing at the fullness of his lips and spoke quietly. “What is yours telling you now?”

 

Oliver lifted his glass and held it in Cate’s direction. “It’s telling me that I’m sitting across from a smart, funny, sexy woman and if I even think of leaving, I’m a crazy fool. So I’m staying put, if that’s alright with you.” He smirked and took a sip.

 

Cate felt the butterflies nestled in her abdomen do a jig at this last remark. She nervously tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear and smiled shyly.

 

Oliver stood up to walk across the room and examine the other prints on the walls. “How do you know all of this? I didn’t realize you were such an art expert.” Oliver seemed smitten by the new discovery.

 

Cate shook her head. “Believe me, I’m the furthest thing from an expert. I’m just an appreciative fan and when I was younger – much younger – I had a chance to study some of these artists in school and in Paris, as part of a study group.”

 

Oliver swung his body around and eyed her with amusement.

 

“What? Why are you looking at me like that?” Cate was puzzled at his reaction.

 

He shook his head. “You’re always surprising me.” Oliver sniffed across the rim of his glass and took another sip. “I like this. Is it cabernet?”

 

“No, shiraz. Not everyone enjoys its richness but I thought I’d take a chance and see what you thought.” She rested the bottom of her glass on her thigh again and tucked her feet beneath her.

 

Oliver smiled back at her. “I’m glad you took a chance.”

 

The Great and Powerful Question…Why?

This past week has been an enlightening one, and sometimes an amusing one, too. So much to do, so much to learn. And on more than one occasion during the week, I found myself interacting with some of my favorite book bloggers. Up until now, I’ve communicated with them as a follower and avid reader.  But what was amusing was that after all of this daily bantering back and forth, many of them weren’t aware that I was writing my own book. THE MUSE UNLOCKED is slated for a June 2013 release.

So it dawned on me.

How can we really get to know the people on the other side of the screen if we don’t truly know anything about them…outside of the person they choose to be in the social media landscape?

On Twitter, for instance, people know me as the punny goofball slinging zingers and one-liners, dropping plops of commentary here and there, inventing vocabulary words and quoting favorite films and Seinfeld episodes. But I’d bet most don’t actually know why I’d be writing a book, let alone a contemporary romance.

Hmm.

Maybe…I should…tell them.

Now, there’s a concept.

So, here you go. A little explanation goes a long way. This goes especially to those of you I’ve gotten to know through the lovely worlds of Twitter and Facebook.

I’m not some reader who simply woke up one morning and decided to write a book. You may or may not know that my day job involves flinging words around, too. I write articles for a living for local magazines and occasionally, for special sections inside one of my hometown’s metropolitan newspapers. I write professional bios for people and help businesses tell their stories through their websites, blogs and marketing materials. And sometimes, I even help people tell their own stories as a — shhhh! Don’t tell! — ghostwriter! When I’m not writing words for other people, I work on my book and in those fleeting free moments when I’m not reading gobs of books, I do what other writers probably do. I write poems. I write essays. I write song lyrics. I blog. (Duh.)

I write. I write. I write. It’s all that I know how to do.

Damn. I’m starting to depress myself.

And what did I do before that? I worked in other fields with disguised avenues for writing. They call them…marketing, advertising, promotion, communications, financial aid (okay, yeah, that last one doesn’t make sense to me either and neither did the job, but it paid the bills for a bit). Wherever I was, I found a way to do what I love to do best… throw words at the wall and see which ones stick.

Growing up, I was the kid who wrote the paper the teacher hung up on the class door, who won first place in the local student essay contest (or maybe it was 2nd), nabbed the city-wide poetry contest title, served as editor of her school newspaper and actually enjoyed writing compositions and research papers.

Yeah. I was that kid.

I was also the one who was secretly writing satirical advertisement copy, skits with no home to showcase, screenplays in secret and song parodies for no real reason other than…just because.

And now, I’m trying to write a book. Holy hell.

Sometimes, I feel like I’ve been in training for this for…about 42 years. Almost 43. (Ack. It hurts my head to think it…)

But that still doesn’t answer the question of the day…

WHY THE HELL AM I WRITING A CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE?

Three big reasons really, aside from the fact that I enjoy reading them myself and that they’ve inspired me to write creatively again.

 REASON 1.
Women readers of contemporary romance are often older than 24, so why shouldn’t the lead characters reflect that part of the audience? We want to see characters like us experience romance, too — and not like the boring, ho-hum romance novels of yesteryear when Dynasty hair and big shoulder pads were all the rage. I was determined to revolve a book around a leading woman who wasn’t a virgin fresh out of college. My lead character is 38, not 24. She still has her blushing moments, because blushing has no age limit if you’re having an insecure moment and as we all know, those never go away. Not really. Not for anyone. I wanted to show a fully matured woman in control of herself, her career, her life, and allow the reader to watch her delight again in the whimsy, unpredictability and passion of new love. And she doesn’t have to be a Freshman college student to experience that.RedHeelREASON 2.
Love and sex are funny sometimes, and humor is a part of life. Some novelists know how to use humor really well and integrate it into their dialogue like J.A. Redmerski and Colleen Hoover, but unfortunately, I find these authors to be few. I am swooning plenty but chuckling so rarely when I read contemporary romance. I want to experience the full range of emotions when I read – laugh and swoon and cry, maybe all at the same time in some instances. I don’t think I’m alone. And let me tell you: some of the most fun can be had with a little bit of sexy banter between two people who clearly want to jump all over each other. I’d love nothing more than to let the reader listen in, and laugh and swoon along with them.

and finally…

REASON 3.
Older women and younger men can make quite an intriguing and sexy pair. So I wanted to show it. I’ve read dozens and dozens of contemporary romance and erotica titles over the past year and I can only think of two off-hand (one Olivia Cunning title and another, a Tiffany Reisz) that even attempted to show what sexy fun this combination can be. In my book, a 38-year-old woman and 28-year-old man find mutual attraction can exist between two people from different age brackets. I say, it’s about time that it’s not the 32-year-old man sweeping away the virginal 22-year-old woman. Nope, stiletto’s on the other foot in my book, and I really hope my readers will enjoy this different take on romance.

There you go. Something more about the  Twitter or Facebook friend you follow but perhaps don’t actually know, and my three big reasons why I am writing this book, this genre and from this particular approach. I can’t wait to share more about the book in the weeks to come leading up to its release.

I’ll have another snippet from THE MUSE UNLOCKED coming your way very soon. Stay tuned! And if you have any thoughts to share about contemporary romance novels today or about my reasons shared, I would love to hear from you. Bloggers, fellow authors and fans — you are absolutely welcome to chime in with your own feelings on the subject.

Happy reading!
ck

Introducing…Cate and Oliver

I made a promise yesterday, and a few of you picked up on it. Some of you even gave me a virtual high-five that you liked the idea.

A book sneak peek.

Ooh, what a novel concept. (Sorry. I can’t help myself sometimes.)

As I’m rounding the corner of finishing the first draft of my debut contemporary romance novel, I thought perhaps this would be a good time to make some early introductions.

There are still many steps to take for my story to become available as an e-book and printed book.  Editing, cover and jacket design, preliminary web content, and oodles and oodles more. (Yes, I am quite scientific throughout this process as you can tell.)

But…until then, may I introduce you to screenwriter and author Cate Mullen, 38, and up and coming television and film actor Oliver Sand, 28, from  THE MUSE UNLOCKED by Chris Kuhn, slated for a June 2013 release.

Happy reading!
ck

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Cate stared at Oliver over her chai tea latte at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. She watched him down a putrid-looking green health drink and giggled as he made a face of disgust when he finished. “How do you drink that? You obviously can’t stand it.”

He set the plastic bottle down on the table and stretched out his tan, muscular arms up above his head. “Gotta’ do what we must to keep our machines functioning properly,” he looked seriously at her for a moment and then broke out into a wide grin.

“Oh, I’m not arguing that your machine isn’t in tip-top shape,” Cate glanced at him with a smile in her eyes. “But food and drink are to be savored. There’s no way you savored that. I think that was last seen on the set of Swamp Thing.

He rolled his eyes at her. “Swamp what? Yeah, yeah. Ha-ha. Whatever. Make fun of it all you want. All I know is,” he leaned in close to her face and whispered hoarsely near her ear. “When this body has to perform, whatever it’s taking on, it performs.” He pulled back and shot her a sexy wink.

She felt her jaw dip ever so slightly. I’ll see your sexual innuendo and raise you a double entendre. She stopped herself in her tracks fearing that if she went down that path, they may never return to the set.  Still, she couldn’t resist completely. “I’m not touching that one.”

Oliver smirked and started to lift his finger to respond to her not-so-coy remark. She grabbed his fingers with one hand and covered his lips with the other. “Oh, you know what I meant,” she feigned innocence and offered her own sexy wink in return.

Morning Book Morsels for 02.02.13

I have been missing in action, haven’t I? I’m sorry…

From the blog, yes, I have been,  but from books – mine or others – hell, no, I’ve been as obsessed as ever. In fact, I thought this might be a good time to pass along some updates.

  • BOOK UPDATE FROM ME – So if you’ve been following along here or on my previous blog, you know that I’ve been working on my first novel, a contemporary romance.  I’m happy to say that I am now officially two-thirds of the way through the story (about 70,000 words)! I am also thrilled to report that I seem to have located my book editor and can’t wait to work with her. She and I met together for the first time this past week, and I truly believe we’ll make a great team. Most exciting of all, it was the first time that anyone else has laid eyes on Cate Mullen and Oliver Sand —their first four chapters, at least! — and I was thrilled to introduce her to them and their story just as I cannot wait to introduce them to you!http://www.dreamstime.com/-image23685146There are a lot of tasks (many thrilling and many daunting) still at hand but as long as the content itself flows steadily and I’m able to tackle these other very relevant elements and decisions as I go, I say I’m still on schedule for a summer release. The “exactly when” may still be a bit of a mystery (even if the book isn’t that genre), but ever the optimist when it comes to this, I’m going to stick with June 2013 for now and continue aiming for that! I will keep you posted. If you’d like to stay in the loop on its release, become a subscriber to this blog today to get the latest news of when it will be available and for those in the Tampa Bay area about any special launch events held locally or online.
  • E-BOOK RELEASES FROM OTHERS – Can you believe it? We’re finally just days away from two hotly anticipated releases?  On February 5, readers can check out e-books from rock erotica writer Olivia Cunning with her fourth Sinners on Tour installment Hot Ticket (can’t wait!) and Sylvia Day‘s A Lush Kiss of Surrender, a novella in the Renegades Trilogy (which I will admit I have not read yet). Having just read the three other Cunning novels merely weeks ago, I am on pins and needles awaiting the latest rock romance even though I understand paperbacks are already out there and available in some places. But I have become a Kindle convert and so I shall wait it out…gasp…another three days. Oh the horror…
  • TEASERS, TEASERS, AND MORE TEASERS – Many authors have been dazzling us these past couple of weeks with teasers. If you’ve missed the links, maybe I can catch you up right here. For teasers to the still untitled book 3 of the Gabriel trilogy from Sylvain Reynard, check out the author’s most recent blog here where he includes links to the specific book bloggers hosting his two previous teasers. And let me tell you, they are so very worth the effort to locate. Trust me. Mmm……S.C. Stephens, who has all of her fans (this one included!) panting as they wait eagerly for the return of sexy rocker Kellan Kyle and his band, has been kind enough to hold up her end of the bargain following a successful Facebook campaign and share the release of not only chapter 1 but most recently unveiled chapter 2 of the third and final installment of her series Reckless. Dig in, fans, if you dare. I, myself, am afraid it will be like a really fine chocolate or moscato and just leave me wanting more and have opted to hold off until the whole book is available, March 5. Sigh. Yes, perhaps I am a bit of a Joan of Arc. So shoot me. (Or perhaps hoist me up and set me on fire would have been more accurate here…) Oh, and if you’re truly a Kellan fan (who isn’t and if not, are they a zombie then?), you may also want to check out an extra-special Kellan-POV version of Chapter 6 of the original book in the trilogy Thoughtless, which Stephens also recently shared as a special thank you to readers……And one final teaser, if you happened to miss it. It’s short and sweet but we’ll take what we can get when me miss our favorite book characters, won’t we? Jamie McGuire released a third teaser prior to the early April release of Walking Disaster at her blog, so be sure to check it out if you’ve waited far too long for the return of one Mr. Travis Maddox.
  • Finally, while I perhaps have been a bit lazy as a blogger, my reading habits have stayed loyal and true, I assure you, and so has my commitment to review everything I read starting this year. You can check out all of my recent book reviews at GoodReads.com by clicking here. In particular, some recent reads like Jodi Ellen Malpas’ This Man and its follow-up Beneath This Man, as well as Shelly Crane‘s Significance series, Jay Crownover‘s Rule, M. Leighton‘s Up to Me and Tiffany Reisz‘s The Prince left very distinct impressions…and not always matching the consensus of other readers. And hey, if you too are an avid reader, particularly in the romance or erotica genres, reach out to become my friend on the site or subscribe to follow my reviews. I have a little over 20 already written (yes, it HAS been a busy reading year!) and I may be able to offer some insight before you make the purchase. And I promise that I’ll never spoil it for you as a reader but may point out some aspects to the style of the book that you either love or hate, so I could you save you some moula or frustration. Just stop by my page on GoodReads and let’s crack open a merlot, shall we?

Happy reading!

ck