In Memoriam: Cara Summers

cara_summersThe romance community lost a prolific author, generous colleague, and shining star when Cara Summers (Carolyn Hanlon) passed away earlier this month on September 10th. Please take two ticks to join us in honoring Cara’s amazing career–and life–on the Blaze Authors Blog.


Travel Whirlwind

Hi Everyone,

Since my last post, I’ve been in a travel whirlwind, not the violent force of nature sort of “whirlwind” that brings to mind the tornado that landed poor Dorothy out of Kansas and smack into Oz (though I’ve had my moments) but rather the fun albeit hectic kind that brings new friends met, old friends reunited, and myriad new creative sparks well… sparking.

A few weeks ago I made my first visit to Toronto, Canada, where one of my wonderful publishers, Harlequin Enterprises is headquartered. It was a thrill to tour the HQ offices and meet the amazing publishing pros who literally make it happen, including Publisher and CEO, Donna Hayes. My traveling buddy was fellow Blaze author, Cara Summers who was working on edits for her twenty-eighth novel. Way to go Cara!

This past weekend I was an invited speaker at James Rivers Writers’ annual conference in Richmond, Virginia. Held at the Library of Virginia, the conference took “Electrify Your Writing” as this year’s theme. Not only did I leave electrified–I was flat out star struck. Fellow panelists included Pullitzer winning poet Claudia Emerson (“Late Wife”), internationally bestselling author Eric Van Lustbader (selected to continue Robert Ludlum’s beloved Jason Bourne series), and bestselling romance author, Sabrina Jeffries. Small wonder I’m still seeing stars.

On Wednesday I head to Florida for the Amelia Island Book Festival. This year’s four-day long festival will be located in the heart of downtown Fernandino Beach. Featured programs will include “Rock n’ Roll Readings,” (how cool is that!) and a Meet the Author luncheon on a local cruise ship. Yours Truly will be participating as a speaker on a number of panels, including one where I’ll get to dish on one of my favorite soap box topics–pets in books!

Anybody else traveling this fall?

Whether your feet are firmly planted at the home hearth or on the teeny tiny foot space of a plane carrying you to some exotic locale, here’s wishing you an October as refreshingly delicious as that first bite into a Golden Delicious apple purchased from a roadside stand…


Back from Book Expo America…

Hi Everyone,

I’m back from Book Expo America. For those of you not familiar with BEA, it’s the U.S. answer to the London and Frankfurt Bookfairs and I do believe it’s even bigger — around 30,000 participants at this year’s event held at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan.

Big clue to the incredible vibe of this year’s event: the Expo was in New York City — now, can that *ever* be bad? 😉

I went up on trusty ole Amtrak the night before expecting to have a good trip, a productive trip, a pleasant trip…

What I had was a *great* trip.

I launched my venture on Thursday evening with dinner a-deux with my good buddy, uber talented historical romance novelist, Kathryn Caskie. We chose Zagat top pic, Gotham Bar & Grill on 12th in The Village. Determined not to be idle, we mapped out our Expo plans over a lovely bottle of shriraz and top tier (aka yummy) fare of hard shell crabs (me) and filet (Kathy).

Friday was a “work” day. After a short waiting stint sipping designer H20 in the Green Room (and no, I didn’t see anyone terribly famous, more’s the pity), I kicked off with a traditonal autographing for my new historical romance release, Enslaved (Medallion press). Later, I had midday coffee talk with talented historical fiction author, Will Hutchison, and then an in-booth signing at the Harlequin booth during “Sexy Hour” with Cara Summers and bestselling author, Carly Phillips.

But there’s more…

That night, Kathryn Caskie (Kathy to me) and our good buddy, historical romance author, Sophia Nash, met up at New York’s famous Webster Hall for The Rock Bottom Remainders “Still Younger than Keith” charity concert. At the VIP reception to kick off the concert, we clinked glasses with literati heavyweights Mitch Albom, Frank McCourt, Amy Tan, Stephen King, and my personal fav, humor columnist turned children’s author, Dave Barry. If you have two ticks, check out our candid pics on my Snapshots page. And yes, consider the rumor confirmed, Dave Barry really did pronounce the three of us “hot.” I believe the word “babes” was also used,” but well, I don’t want to get anyone in trouble at home. 😉

As you may expect, all this autographing and gladhanding can really wear a woman down. Fortunately, I got to unwind on Saturday evening at the Harlequin party held at a swank Midtown club. Harlequin always does it right and this year’s fete was no exception. Guests were greeted at the door with champagne and chocolates and the night got even better from there. Over canapes and champagne (yes, more), I caught up with authors Jane Porter (“Flirting with Forty”), Candice Poarch, and Rebecca York as well as had the opportunity to say thank you to Harlequin’s talented and hardworking editorial, marketing and sales staff.

Come Sunday, all this nose-to-the-grindstone hard work was really taking its toll. The chocolate consumption alone had me at “sixes and sevens” as Sophia might say in one of her Regency-set historicals. I wound down with a signing of The Haunting in the Romance Writers of America booth at BEA along with Niki Burnham (“Goddess Games”) and Silhouette author, Anna DePalo.

A few days of post-Expo R&R in the West Village set me to rights. Come mid-week, I was homebound on that Amtrak train, maybe not exactly fresh as a daisy but certainly touting a big ole smile.

Okay, so enuf about me. Anybody else go to BEA? As they say, inquiring minds…