Posts tagged with: Kate Carlisle

How Book Release Dates Work

Today is Tuesday, March 25, which means it’s the last Tuesday in March, which means that many April books are being released today.

Wait… what? April books are being released in March???

A Cookbook Conspiracy by Kate CarlisleIt’s confusing, isn’t it? But it’s true. Several publishers release books the last Tuesday of the month prior to the official release month. Therefore, a book labeled “April 2014″ will be released on the last Tuesday of March, and a book labeled “May 2014″ will be released on the last Tuesday of April, and so on.

The Book Stops Here by Kate CarlisleTo make it more confusing, not all publishers do this. Not even close. Penguin, who publishes my mystery novels, release their books on the first Tuesday of the month of release. That means that the mass market paperback version of A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY, which is a May 2014 book, will be released on the first Tuesday in May. And the hardcover and ebook debut of THE BOOK STOPS HERE, a June 2014 book, will be released on the first Tuesday in June.

To make it more-more confusing, Harlequin, which publishes the books I write for Desire, goes for the “second-to-last Tuesday of the prior month” system when it comes to category paperbacks, but their category ebooks are released on the first day of the month of release. April 1, May 1, June 1, etc.

However, bookstores often disregard the official release date, especially when it comes to category romance. When the boxes arrive, the books go on the shelves. Very few authors get the Harry Potter treatment, with booksellers under threat of penalty if they open the boxes a minute too early. Which is both good and bad. Good, because readers who are excited to get their hands on the books don’t have to wait. Bad, because it means that those too-early sales won’t count toward first-week sales when it comes to the bestsellers lists. And hitting the bestsellers lists means more attention for the book, which means more sales down the road. Or at least, that’s the hope.

What a Duke DaresAnd self-published ebook authors, of course, have book releases any day and every day.

Are you confused yet?

The point is, today is March 25, which means that today is release day for many authors! Here are a few anticipated books…

  • What a Hero Dares by Kasey Michaels
  • What a Reckless Rogue Needs by Vicky Dreiling
  • (side note: What a Duke Dares by our own Anna Campbell is available for pre-order!)
  • Waking the Dead by Heather Graham
  • Dash of Peril by Lori Foster
  • A Match Made in Texas by Katie Lane
  • Four Friends by Robyn Carr

What April 2014 book releases are you most excited to read? Do they come out today or next week? Did you already know all of this about book release dates, or was this new information for you?

Questionable Marketing Gimmicks

Since my next book doesn’t come out until June (The Book Stops Here, preceded in May by the paperback reissue of A Cookbook Conspiracy… in case you were wondering…wink, wink), I thought it’d be fun to talk about some weird, slightly distasteful, but possibly very successful marketing gimmicks.

Heart Attack Grill

Heart Attack Grill menuDid you know there’s a restaurant in Las Vegas called Heart Attack Grill, which bills itself as a hospital themed restaurant that promotes an unhealthy diet? Seriously. They call customers “patients,” and they serve monster-sized hamburgers. And hey, if you’re over 350 pounds and willing to weigh yourself in front of a screaming crowd… you eat for FREE.

Some menu options: Single Bypass Burger up to Octuple Bypass Burger, Coronary Dog, Butterfat Milkshakes. The Octuple Bypass Burger has four pounds of beef – and the smallest burger you can order is a half-pounder! If you manage to finish the Quadruple Bypass Burger, they’ll wheel you to your car in a wheelchair.

In this case, what happens in Vegas stays on your hips!

Styx Underwear

No question, this ad would grab my attention, and I would read the card. But then I’d immediately feel compelled to wash my hands. Wouldn’t you? ‘Cause, really… ewwwwww!

(In case you can’t read it, the card says, “This is the only time, when we are getting into your ass.” The comma is poorly placed… as is the card itself. Snork!)

Old Spice

I’m a big fan of the Man My Man Could Smell Like, and I just cannot imagine that this year’s Old Spice commercials, featuring singing mothers filled with lament that their sons are growing up, can possibly sell more of the scent than the “Smell like a man, man” tactic. Really, who are they targeting with this video? Moms who buy cologne for their teenage sons? Because surely it’s not going to send said sons running to the stores! Still, it’s really, really funny.

What are some ad campaigns, past or present, that stick in your mind? Can you think of any really funny advertising successes or failures?

February Coming Attractions

SECRETS-SEDUCINGBODYGUARD2-182x300[1]Ahh, February, the month of love! And romance! And chocolate! And champagne, of course! And reading wonderful books by fabulous authors! But that’s what every month of the year is all about, right? Oh, yes.

Call me sentimental, but for me, February is also the month during which I look back, shake my head, and admit that all of those January resolutions I made were ridiculous! Seriously, give up chocolate? What was I thinking??

Hearts and Spurs Med - tracy gHere in the Lair, we resolve to bring you a wonderful line-up of delightful authors each and every month. And February is no exception. You won’t want to miss one single minute of the fun.

We kick things off on Monday, 3rd February, when Anna Campbell hosts lair favorite Vanessa Kelly who is here to talk about SECRETS FOR SEDUCING A ROYAL BODYGUARD, Book 1 in her Renegade Royals series.

WAMR_cover_draftHow do you capture a cowboy’s heart? Tracy Garrett stops in on Tuesday, February 4th to talk with Suz about her newest western romance in the anthology, HEARTS AND SPURS, a collection of nine stories by some of western romance’s best—just in time for Valentine’s Day!

All Beautiful Things 104 (3)And on Wednesday, February 5th, Jesse Hayworth returns to the lair as Nancy’s guest. Jesse will dish on e-dating and chat with us about her new release, WINTER AT MUSTANG RIDGE.

Joanie hosts debut author Nicki Salcedo on Monday, February 17th. Do stop by to find out all about her latest, ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS.

sapphires-200[1]On Thursday, 20th February, Anna Campbell hosts another lair favorite, Shana Galen. They’ll talk about SAPPHIRES ARE AN EARL’S BEST FRIEND, the conclusion of her very popular Jewels of the Ton series.

Leading Lady - Deb MThe effervescent Deb Marlowe will visit the Lair on Monday, February 24th, to talk to Caren about THE LEADING LADY, Book 2 of her fabulous Half Moon House series. Come see who the infamous former courtesan Hestia Wright has taken under her protection this go-around.

And you won’t want to miss the fun and excitement on February 28th when Bandita Suz launches the newest suspense-filled story in her fantastic Edgars Family series, VANISHED!

Vanished - Suz Ferrell

CONTESTS!

Anna Campbell had such fun with her backlist contest last time that she’s doing it all again for her January/February contest. THREE people (international) will win their choice from her books (except for DAYS OF RAKES AND ROSES). Just email Anna on anna @ annacampbell.info (no spaces) and tell her which book you’d like. If you need help choosing, check out her books page on her website: http://annacampbell.info/books.html For more information, check out her contest page: http://annacampbell.info/contest.html

So, let’s talk February love and romance! What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for someone—or someone’s done for you?

Do you have a favorite romantic meal?

And have any of your resolutions survived into February? Please share!

Books as Design Inspiration

The Book Stops Here by Kate CarlisleA friend of mine recently took All Summer Long by Susan Mallery to the paint store to find a pale lilac paint color that matched the cover. Then she painted her home office that color, and it looks fabulous.

A Cookbook Conspiracy by Kate CarlisleWhich got me thinking about the cover of my next Bibliophile Mystery, THE BOOK STOPS HERE. I absolutely love the pop of color that the blue wing chair gives to the crowded old attic on the cover. It works, I think, because the walls are a neutral color, and that blue immediately draws the eye. (I hope it will draw readers’ eyes when it lands in bookstores this June!) It’s very similar to the blue accents on the cover of A COOBOOK CONSPIRACY. (I love my book covers! Can you tell?)

Because I’d love to find a chair that color (and because I had a proposal due to my editor and needed a specific way in which to procrastinate), I did a Google search for blue wing chair. Here are some of the chairs I found…

This one is too small:

These are too big:

This one’s not eggsactly what I’m looking for:

This one is just right! Don’t you love it?

What book are you reading right now? Does anything on the cover give you design inspiration for your house?

12 Days of Banditas Christmas – GRAND PRIZE WINNER!

BanditBootyThank you to all the wonderful readers who commented during the 12 Days of a Banditas Christmas! We had so much fun, and we hope you did, too. The grand prize winner, selected at random from among everyone who commented on Christmas Day is…

Teresa Hughes!

Congratulations, Teresa! I’m so happy for you!!! Please send your snail mail address to me at email hidden; JavaScript is required so we can get your prizes in the mail.

The grand prize package includes…

  • From Christina Brooke, a signed trade paperback of the Australian edition of London’s Last True Scoundrel
  • From Suzanne Ferrell, Kidnapped plus Godiva Chocolates
  • From Anna Campbell, A Rake’s Midnight Kiss
  • From Trish Milburn, Out of the Night
  • From Donna MacMeans, The Casanova Code
  • From Jeanne Adams, a Rooster Mug and Saucer, plus a download of her brand new novella
  • From Jo Robertson, her Christmas novella, The Perfect Gift
  • From Christie Kelley, Enticing the Earl
  • From Caren Crane, Kick Start
  • From Tawny Weber, Nice & Naughty, Naughty Christmas Nights
  • From Susan Sey, Taste For Trouble (Kindle or paperback) and Talent For Trouble (upon January release, also Kindle or paperback)
  • From Joan Kayse, Kindle download of The Patrician
  • From Nancy Northcott, Renegade, Guardian, or Sentinel as download
  • From Kate Carlisle, A Cookbook Conspiracy and some cool Bibliophile swag
  • From Anna Sugden, A Perfect Distraction plus Cadbury’s chocolate
  • From visiting author Katie McGarry, her latest YA Crash Into You
  • From visiting author Natalie Richards, her latest YA Six Months Later

Merry Christmas, Banditas and Bandita Buddies!

The Romance Bandits want to wish all of you who celebrate Christmas the merriest of days! (And even if you don’t celebrate Christmas… be merry today.) Hope you’re spending the day with people you love. We’ll be popping in and out throughout the day to say hello. Be sure to post a comment below so you’ll have a chance to win today’s Grand Prize in the 12 Bandita Days of Christmas celebration!

The grand prize package includes…

  • From Christina Brooke, a signed trade paperback of the Australian edition of London’s Last True Scoundrel
  • From Suzanne Ferrell, Kidnapped plus Godiva Chocolates
  • From Anna Campbell, A Rake’s Midnight Kiss
  • From Trish Milburn, Out of the Night
  • From Donna MacMeans, The Casanova Code
  • From Jeanne Adams, a Rooster Mug and Saucer, plus a download of her brand new novella
  • From Jo Robertson, her Christmas novella, The Perfect Gift
  • From Christie Kelley, Enticing the Earl
  • From Caren Crane, Kick Start
  • From Tawny Weber, Nice & Naughty, Naughty Christmas Nights
  • From Susan Sey, Taste For Trouble (Kindle or paperback) and Talent For Trouble (upon January release, also Kindle or paperback)
  • From Joan Kayse, Kindle download of The Patrician
  • From Nancy Northcott, Renegade, Guardian, or Sentinel as download
  • From Kate Carlisle, A Cookbook Conspiracy and some cool Bibliophile swag
  • From Anna Sugden, A Perfect Distraction plus Cadbury’s chocolate
  • From visiting author Katie McGarry, her latest YA Crash Into You
  • From visiting author Natalie Richards, her latest YA Six Months Later

wrap1You know that I write a mystery series about a bookbinder, so it probably won’t surprise you to hear that I’m a fan of beautiful wrapping paper. (Understatement!) Sometimes when I get a gift, the paper is so lovely that I open it carefully, delicately, because hurting the paper would hurt my feelings.

A Brief History of Wrapping Paper

Gifts have been wrapped in paper for nineteen centuries in China. Gift paper was popular in Victorian England, but it was much thicker and more cumbersome than what we use today, and it was only affordable for the upper classes.

wrap2Modern gift wrap came into being by a quirk of fate. The year was 1917. Americans at that time mostly wrapped Christmas gifts in red, green, and white tissue paper, but a card store in Kansas City ran out of tissue paper. The quick-thinking owners remembered that they had sheets of French envelope-lining paper in back. They priced the decorative sheets at 10 cents apiece (about $2.35 in today’s money) and watched them fly off the shelves… and an industry was born.

That company is still in business today. Hallmark. And all because of poor inventory control.

Have you opened presents today? What made you smile?

Launch Party: Second-Chance Seduction by Kate Carlisle

second-chance-seduction-150Brace yourselves, ladies! With the release of SECOND-CHANCE SEDUCTION, I’ve launched a new series with Harlequin Desire featuring the McLaren brothers of the highlands of Northern California. To honor their heritage, we’re throwing a Scottish-themed launch party today. The Lair is decked out in tartan, the tables are overloaded with legs o’ lamb (plus haggis for the Bravehearts in the bunch), and the cabana boys are dressed in kilts!

What happens under the kilt won't necessarily stay put!Our young, kilted laddies are willing to play a few Scottish games with ye, if ye’ve a mind to… wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

The MacLaren brothers are taking California by storm with their brewing empire, and pity the women who get in their way. Aye, these men have talented tongues, an’ make no mistake. Raise a pint for a traditional toast. (Never mind if you don’t drink. This is fictional beer.)

If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.
So let it be!

Pint of dark beerAnd now, a bit about SECOND-CHANCE SEDUCTION

Connor MacLaren never forgave Maggie Jameson for leaving him. Ten years later, his former sweetheart’s back in their California town, desperate for the Scottish businessman’s help. And he knows just how to get her out of his system once and for all…

Agreeing to temporarily pose as Connor’s girlfriend is déjà vu. After only a few minutes alone with the rugged Highlander, Maggie’s breathless with desire. Of course, this was Connor’s intention…until his plan backfires, leaving them both wanting much more.

Now, lassies, let’s give ourselves not-so-authentic Scots nicknames. Here’s how it works… Take your first name and give it an “-ie” ending. Then add “Mac” to your most notable physical feature, the street where you grew up, or a word related to your job. Today, I shall be Katie MacDeadline!

Post your Scots nickname in the comments below, and I’ll select one of ye at random to receive an autographed copy of SECOND-CHANCE SEDUCTION.

Breakfast Recipe Exchange

Blog Widget

Let’s talk bonus content! I’m working on my website update for 2014. That is to say, I’m writing a lot of notes, which my fabulous webmaster will turn into an actual update. I’ve decided that I want to add a lot more bonus content for my readers, things like games and recipes and interactive book excerpt widgets, like this one for SECOND-CHANCE SEDUCTION, which will be out next month from Harlequin Desire.

I also thought it would be fun to include pictures of things from my books. I have a Pinterest board for each book (www.pinterest.com/booksbykate), so I’ve asked my webmaster to post a Pinterest widget on each book page, too, like this one. Isn’t this just the coolest thing?!

pinterest-acc 

Thing is, I’m not a natural cook. I try, I really do, but I just don’t have the knack. Still, I think if you keep trying different combinations, eventually you’ll come up with something delicious. (After discarding lots of not-so-delicious combinations.) Which is just what happened when I threw together this Apple-Bacon French Toast Casserole. It turned out really delicious, even with the surprise ingredient I threw in! And it looks pretty, too. If you make it, please email me via my website to let me know what you thought.

 

Kate Carlisle’s Apple-Bacon French Toast Casserole

apple-bacon-french-toast-web1 baguette, torn into 1-inch chunks
2 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 apple, cut into ¼-inch chunks
4 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, cut into ¼-inch chunks
6 eggs
¼ C maple syrup
¼ C apple cider

Place the chunks of bread, apple, cheese, and bacon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, syrup, and cider. Pour over the bread mixture. Stir to soak bread thoroughly. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan, add the egg mixture, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the casserole until cooked through, and bread on top is golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Serve with bacon and additional syrup. ‘Cause you know, you can never have too much bacon or too much syrup!

Okay, it’s your turn! Share a favorite breakfast recipe. Oh, and please do let me know what kind of “extras” you enjoy seeing on authors’ websites.

Quick Five: Favorite First Lines

Frustrated woman at computerI’ve been staring at a blank screen a lot lately. It happens whenever I’m trying to start a new book. That first line is key, and it’s disconcerting to calculate how much time it takes me to get it right. One thing I like to do during this phase of the book is study other authors and their first lines. Some of them make me laugh. Others hit me right in the heart. If nothing else, reading the first lines of other authors’ books stirs up my creative juices, and that can’t hurt.

Here are five of my favorites in no particular order. You might not find these lines in a book of “Famous First Lines,” but I found them memorable and evocative. And just to be friendly, I included one of my own. :-)

A Rake's Midnight Kiss1. “The whole world knows you for a slut, Madam.” – A Rake’s Midnight Kiss, by Anna Campbell.

2. If my life were a book, I would have masking tape holding my hinges together. – If Books Could Kill, by Kate Carlisle.

3. My wound is geography. – The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy.

If Books Could Kill4. Phoebe Summerville outraged everyone by bringing a French poodle and a Hungarian lover to her father’s funeral. – It Had To Be You, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

5. “Your latest mistress is causing a sensation back in London, Masters.” – Mistress, by Amanda Quick.

What are some of your favorite first lines?

Fun with Grammar

Word NerdYes, I’ll admit it. I’m a Grammar Geek. A Word Nerd. A Dictionary Devotee. A Jargon Junkie. A Lexicon Lover. I write intentionally bad Haikus for fun. I dig word games the way a sixteen-year-old boy digs wearing pants that fall down.

You can imagine my delight when I stumbled across www.grammarbook.com, a website that’s all about grammar – and about promoting The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, which I, for one, intend to buy. GrammarBook.com covers the minutiae of grammar rules on very specific topics. Oh, the joy, the joy! I found it in a search because I wasn’t sure whether I should say “Brooklyn Wainwright held onto the book” or “Brooklyn Wainwright held on to the book.”

Blue Book of Grammar and PunctuationOn to.

Surprised?

My favorite part of the website is the blog, which has regular, relevant, accessibly written posts about grammatical conundrums we face in our lives every day. (Or should that be “everyday”?)

“Words Can Be Bullies,” one article is titled. (Entitled?) And from this intriguing title, they launch into an even more intriguing first sentence: Words that start with the letter h don’t always act like it.

Are you quivering with delight, too, or is that just me?

Let’s play a word game! Do an internet search for your first name. Step one, from the first page of search results, pull interesting words matching these parts of speech. Don’t skip ahead. Get your words first before you move on to step two.

  • One adverb
  • Two adjectives
  • Two nouns
  • Two verbs

Got your words? Did you write them down?

Word search

Step two, complete the sentence below:

[Your first name], a/an [adverb] [adjective] [noun] who likes to [verb], was [adjective2] because her [noun] wouldn’t [verb.]

Share your sentence. Is it true?

Here’s mine: Kate, an eye-glazingly stylish celebrity who likes to visit, was dreary because her clothing wouldn’t glitter.

Yes. It’s true. I’m all about the glitter. SNORK!!!!!

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