Saturday, December 23, 2006

Major News!

Okay, we have been waiting and waiting to announce this fabulous news and have finally been given the go ahead to say something, so here it is: Sony TV has optioned all four novellas from our wonderful MYSTERIA anthology for a cable TV miniseries! So that's MaryJanice Davidson, Susan Grant, Gena Showalter and moi (please see lovely photo of "us" above). Talk about a wonderful holiday gift! Stay tuned for updates!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Let's hear it for the Goddesses!

I like to support sister goddess authors (as well as Tor's paranormal/fantasy romance line), so be sure you check out Shannon McKelden's first novel, VENUS ENVY (such a delicious title)!

Here's the scoop:

VENUS ENVY by Shannon McKelden

(TOR Books, December 26, 2006)

Take one hunky firefighter, one stubborn "Cinderella," and one very reluctant fairy godmother and what do you get?

Rachel Greer wants no part of Venus's scheme to land Mr. March as her Prince Charming, but Venus is determined to do just that. She's only a few love-life fixes short of returning to her former goddess status, and she's not letting one mulish mortal stand in her way.

It appears the only way Rachel can get rid of the very un-Disney-like fairy godmother is to play along. So she follows Venus's plan to interview Luke Stanton's ex-girlfriends...which Venus believes will cure Rachel's relationship fears, but which Rachel knows will only prove her point that men are never what they appear to be.

But, when Venus's plan appears to work, and Rachel and Luke fall in love, does Rachel dare set aside her fears about happily ever? Or will betrayal send her back into relationship seclusion...this time forever?

And what happens when a goddess-turned-fairy godmother breaks the most important rule--protecting herself from human emotions?




Shannon McKelden has wanted to be a writer since she earned a coveted ‘A+++’ from her 9th grade English teacher. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her high school sweetheart, two kids, two cats, a dog and a crow.


Witty, funny, and truly original, McKelden’s romance is a standout. -- Booklist

Sexy, clever and fun, Venus Envy is absolutely delightful from beginning to end. Author Shannon McKelden has talent to spare. –Jane Porter, author of The Frog Prince

Debut author McKelden is undeniably talented, milking a fun plot for all it's worth. 3 Stars. – Romantic Times


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Delicious anthology

I'm hearing lovely things about the UNLEASHED anthology, especially Lucy Monroe's novella. Check it out:

“Come Moonrise” by Lucy Monroe featured in UNLEASHED
(Berkley, December 5, 2006)

Ty MacAnlup has seen the tragedy that a mating between a werewolf and a human can bring and he wants no part of it, no matter how much his body and heart ache for a taste of Frankie's softness. Frankie has loved Ty for years and while she doesn't know he's a werewolf, or even that such things exist...she does know that to her, he's always been more than a mere man. Ty's hidden beast wreaks havoc with his determination to stay away from Frankie when they are trapped together in a small cabin in the snow bound wilderness.



Award winning author Lucy Monroe sold her first book in September of 2002. Since then she has sold more than 30 books to three publishers and hit national bestsellers lists in the US and England. Her highly charged, sensual stories touch on the realities of life while giving the reader a fantasy story not easily forgotten. Whether it's a passionate Harlequin Presents, a sexy single title for Kensington or a steamy historical or paranormal for Berkley, Lucy's books transport her readers to a special place where the heart rules and love conquers all.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Finally! Kristin and I got a look at the cover for book 1 of our YA HOUSE OF NIGHT series, MARKED. It was definitely worth the wait! St. Martin's says they're still tinkering with it, but we love it! Check it out...

Thursday, November 02, 2006


You can order DIVINE BY CHOICE right now! Yea! FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY! Okay, here's the deal. Yes, the book isn't officially available until December, BUT my favorite local independent bookstore, The Book Place, is taking pre-orders now. (My books usually get there at least a couple weeks before they're available at major bookstores and Amazon.) So, you can order DIVINE BY CHOICE (with a lovely 15% discount!) through The Book Place and before they ship it to you I will march my little self down to the store and sign it for you! Yes, you can get a copy of DIVINE BY MISTAKE signed by me, too.
Here's what you need to do:

Find out for yourself why RT gave P.C. Cast's DIVINE BY CHOICE a 4 1/2 star rating Top Pick review!!!

Pre-order your copy of DIVINE BY CHOICE (LUNA Dec., 2006), the long awaited sequel to GODDESS/DIVINE BY MISTAKE and receive a copy signed by P.C. Cast at 15% off the cover price!

RT said, "With Cast's imaginative style, expectations are high for this second book in the Divine series, and it delivers. Superlative world-building and a modern, sarcastic heroine make this an accessible and delightful read. The first of this series, Goddess by Mistake, earned a 4 1/2 star rating; the updated reissue, Divine by Mistake, is even better. While Divine by Choice can stand on it own, pick up both of these treasures for your keeper shelf."

If you would like to receive a signed copy of DIVINE BY MISTAKE (LUNA Sept., 2006) you can place that order during this promotion period and also receive 15% off the cover price!

TO RECEIVE THIS SPECIAL OFFER be sure to include in the “Question or Message” section of the order form “Pre-Order Promo for P.C. Cast”.

TO HAVE THE SIGNATURE PERSONALIZED: Be sure to include in the “Question or Message” section of the order form the name of the person you would like included in the inscription. Otherwise the book will have only the signature of P.C. Cast.

HOW TO ORDER: This pre-order special will be available only through The Book Place in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Please visit to place your order today! Click on “Search Inventory” in the menu, type in the title of the book you wish to order and submit. The Book Place can be reached by phone at (918)455-1422.

Any questions regarding this promotion can be directed by e-mail to Sherry Rowland at

Happy ordering guys! The long wait for DIVINE BY CHOICE is finally over!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cover for Goddess of Love!

Thought I'd share the cover for my June 07 Goddess Summoning Book, GODDESS OF LOVE. It's the fifth book in this fabulous series, and it was certainly fun to have Venus has a heroine. Goddess of Spring fans - Persephone has a cameo in this one, too. Meddlesome Hera also plays a part. Here's an excerpt teaser:

The set up - Persephone has taken Venus shopping in Tulsa. This is the Goddess of Love's first visit to the modern mortal world, and they are capping off their lovely shopping day by relaxing with martinis at Persephone's fav Tulsa restaurant (coincidentally, it's my favorite Tulsa restaurant, too!), Lola's at the Bowery.

Persephone shook her head and tried, unsuccessfully, to stifle a giggle. “I can’t believe you actually bought that thing.”
“How could I not after reading its name?” She pointed to the shiny black box that had the word VENUS D’MY LAY written in bright scarlet letters across it. “How do you open it?”
“You’re going to open it? Right here?”
Venus glanced up at her, violet eyes bemused. “Why not?”
“Well, it looks like a...”
Venus managed to wrestle open the lid and slid out its contents. Holding it up, she finished for Persephone, “A big, black phallus!”
“It certainly does.” Persephone stared. “Actually, it’s disturbingly real. What does it feel like?”
Venus caressed the long, black shaft, running her slender fingers knowingly over its rounded head, and flesh-like ridges and veins. “It feels nice. Much more realistic than the phalli the ancients carve. I mean, really. Not even a god’s penis truly gets as hard as marble, no matter what Apollo may boast. How does it work?” Venus enthusiastically shook the huge dildo with a jerking-it-off motion, getting several interesting looks from men sitting at the bar, which she chose, for the moment, not to acknowledge. “It says it vibrates, but it’s not vibrating,” she frowned.
“Give me that thing. You have to put in the batteries.”
“Modern magic that makes it work.”
“Oooh.” Venus sipped her martini while she watched Persephone insert batteries into the shaft of the phallus. “So those odd looking things will really cause it to vibrate?”
“That’s what the girl at Pricilla’s Toy Box said.”
“She was oddly pierced. Did she remind you of an Amazon warrior, too?” Venus asked.
“Now that you mention it, there was something wild and warrior-like about her. She might not quite be an Amazon, but I think Diana would approve of her.” Persephone said. “Here. Try turning it on now.” She passed the penis across the table and pointed to the hidden switch in its base. Venus stroked it on. The huge member came alive, humming happily.
Venus gasped. “By Zeus’s swinging testicles! It is magic!”
“Okay,” Persephone looked quickly around the chic restaurant, frowning severely at the men at the bar who were clearly being very entertained by Venus’s uninhibited show. She took the vibrator from the goddess, flipped it off, and put it back in its box. “You really might want to rethink the divine genitalia cursing.”
“The tits and testicles of the Olympians just aren’t used as curses here.” She dropped the VENUS D’MY LAY in the shopping bag and unobtrusively kicked the bag under their table.
“Persephone. I am Goddess of Love,” Venus kept her voice low but firm. “It’s always appropriate for me to curse using references to genitals. Anyone’s genitals.”
“Do you want to fit in here?”
“Of course! I adore modern mortals. I can already tell that the men are appreciative without being sycophants. And the women move with such a delicious sense of freedom and power. I plan on spending many happy days exploring this wonderful kingdom.”
“Then leave the genitals of the gods and goddesses out of it.”
Venus frowned, looking unusually pensive. “I’m not sure I can. You know I prefer to refer to love whenever I can.”
Persephone raised one delicate eyebrow. “Love?”
“Naturally. Genitals equal love – love equal genitals. Persephone, darling, do we need to have a more private talk? How have your orgasms been lately? Are you experiencing multiple releases? And when you don’t have a partner, have you been pleasuring yourself adequately?”
Persephone raised her hands, palms out. “Stop. You win. Use whatever curses please you most. Just be prepared to be questioned about them.”
“I’m always prepared to answer questions about love,” Venus smiled sweetly. “But first I want…” she caught the young waitress’s eye and waggled her fingers at their two almost empty martini glasses.
“Did you ladies want another round?”
“Darling, you said your name was Jenny, didn’t you?” Venus asked.
“That’s right,” the waitress smiled. “Two more martinis?”
“Yes, but this time let’s try The Wake,” Persephone said.
“Excellent! You’ll love it. I bring those right out.”
“The Wake?” Venus asked Persephone after Jenny hurried off.
“It’s yummy – chocolate liqueur, espresso, vodka, ice crystals…” she licked her lips and shivered in delight. “Trust me on this.”
“Oh, I do! It sounds decadent. I’m certain I’ll love it. I’ve loved everything else in this kingdom.”
“Okay, you’re really going to have to quit calling it that. There’s no such thing as a kingdom of Tulsa. It’s just Tulsa. Like Rome is just Rome, not the kingdom of Rome.”
Venus scoffed. “Try telling those obsessively patriotic ancient Romans they’re not a kingdom.”
“Point taken. I used a bad example. Here’s the thing – you can be eccentric and different here – that’s fine. You’re incredibly beautiful–”
“Why thank you darling!” Venus interrupted.
“I’m just stating the truth. Anyway, you can get away with being…well…what modern mortals will consider weird because of your beauty.”
“Weird? I am not weird.”
“By Athena’s widening ass you certainly are!” Persephone said, mimicking her friend’s voice and using one of her all-time favorite curses.
Venus’s violet eyes sparkled. “Athena’s ass is getting big. Come on. Admit it. She’s become far too serious! All ‘Look at me! I’m the grey-eyed Goddess of War, Wisdom, and the Arts.’” She exaggerated a yawn. “She needs to loosen up, and in more ways than one. A few stretching exercises and a good jog would help her out as much as taking a lover or two.”
“You’re incorrigible,” Persephone laughed. “And you’re not going to get me off the subject that easy. You can use your genital curses. You can even get way too personal about other people’s love lives. But you can’t go around calling Tulsa a kingdom.”
“Fine fine fine. It’s not a kingdom. It’s a city. I’ve got it. I’ll remember. It’s just that I’m having so much fun! I adore Tulsa and its mixture of cheeky modern men and confident modern women, especially because none of them have any idea who I am.”
“I told you it would be a freeing experience to visit the modern world.”
“Well I am Love, and I can officially say that Love is in love with Tulsa!”
The waitress put two fresh martinis on their table, along with two slender white slices of an exquisitely decorated cake. “Here are your Wakes, ladies. And the owner, Lola, is testing out a new dessert – personal wedding cake. Please sample it with her blessing.”
“Wedding cake!” Venus laughed and clapped her hands together in a spontaneous show of girlish pleasure. “How perfectly appropriate.”
“Are you getting married?” The young waitress asked.
“Me? No! I’ve been married forever. That’s not why it’s appropriate. It’s just that I am Love. Naturally, wedding cake should be a favorite of mine.”
The waitress continued to smile politely, but her face had turned into a question mark.
“She means she’s fixed up a lot of her friends. Sometimes we just call her Love,” Persephone explained.
“She’s good at fixing up people? That’s cool.”
“You have no idea,” Venus mumbled through a big bite of wedding cake. “Paris and Helen…Pygmalion and–”
“Thanks for the cake!” Persephone interrupted smoothly. “And keep an eye on our martinis; we’ll want at least one more round.”
“Will do.”
When she was gone Persephone bit into her own slice of cake while she shook her head at Venus.
“What? You don’t like the cake. I think it’s wonderful.”
“The cake is excellent. You, on the other hand, are a mess.”
Venus took a sip of the new martini and moaned softly in pleasure. “By Apollo’s golden phallus this is delicious!”
“Venus, could you please please please try to remember that to the modern mortals Troy existed thousands of years ago? And to them Pygmalion carving Galatea out of marble was just a myth.”
“Pygmalian? A myth? Impossible. He was a dreadful woman hater before I played matchmaker.” She grinned mischievously. “Matchmaking with a statue. I must say that I outdid myself that time. How could people believe that love story was a myth?”
“You knew them!” Persephone hissed. “And you’re used to magic, unlike modern mortals.”
Venus cocked her head to the side and studied Persephone. “You seem very tense. When was the last time you orgasmed?”
“That has nothing to do with it.”
“Of course it does. When was the last time?”
“Five days ago.”
“See there!” Venus nodded vigorously as if she’d just proved an excellent point to an attentive audience. “That’s your problem.”
“I don’t have a problem.”
“Well you won’t if we get you properly laid.” Venus looked around the restaurant, clearly checking out the men at the bar.
“No. Really. I’m fine. And if I’m not I do have a rather long list of mortal men I can call on,” she said smugly.
“Excellent. Then do so. Five days without a proper orgasm is entirely too long. But are you sure you don’t want to me work a little love magic for you?” She waggled her long, shapely fingers and diamond-like glitter began to form in the air around them.
“No!” Persephone yelped, grabbing Venus’s hand and causing the love dust to fall in a small, sparkling heap on their table. She quickly blew on the powdery substance and then went into a sneezing fit when it danced in the air around them before disappearing back into the Goddess of Love’s fingertips.
“Be careful,” Venus said as she finished the last of her cake. “That stuff isn’t good for your lungs.”
“Thanks for reminding me,” Persephone said sardonically while she sniffed delicately. “Just nevermind on the love magic stuff. I’m doing fine on my own. Plus, you know what happens when you get too involved in the love life of the gods.”
“What are you talking about? I have made uncounted matches – happy matches.”
“Yes, you have. Happy matches between mortals. When you mess with our love lives, as in the immortals, of which I am one, things tend to go wrong. Drastically wrong.”
“You exaggerate.”
“Exhibit A – Athena and Odysseus. You decided Athena needed to love a mortal. Look me in the eye and tell me your meddling didn’t cause the man to be absent from his wife and family for 20 years.”
Venus shrugged and looked uncomfortable. “If Athena hadn’t been so obsessive that little affair wouldn’t have been such a bad thing.”
“So you’re admitting it was a bad thing?”
“Fine. Exhibit B – the Scylla/Glaucus/Circe debacle.”
“That’s not fair. I had no idea that Circe was so attached to Glaucus. I thought he and Scylla made a lovely match. You know I did think he was just scrumptious after he became a water deity. How was I to know that Scylla rejecting him would make Circe so jealous?” Venus pouted. “I really don’t know how you can hold that against me.”
“Okay. How about Exhibit C – Zeus and–”
“Okay! I get your point. Although how you could blame me for any of Zeus’s silly affairs I’ll never know,” she muttered. “Anyway, I won’t meddle in your love life. Right now,” she added under her breath. “But I do have the urge to, I don’t know, arrange something for these fabulous mortals. Kind of as a payback for having such a lovely time in their city.” She enunciated the word distinctly, getting a grin from Persephone.
“Hey, meddle away with the mortals. It’s fine with me. Whether they are aware of it or not, they’re lucky to have the Goddess of Love be so interested.”
“Really!” Venus brightened. “Matchmaking always gets my womanly juices flowing.”
“Venus. Please. TMI.”
“Too much information. Keep your woman’s juices to yourself.”
“You know, for Spring you really are a prude.” She narrowed her eyes at Persephone. “When was the last time you gazed at the beauty of your sacred lotus blossom with a mirror?”
Persephone choked on her martini.
“Just as I thought. You need to spend more private time with the core of your womanhood.”
“Mortals. Focus on the mortals, Venus.” Persephone said between coughs.
“If you insist…” Venus said, turning her attention to the morals surrounding them even while she filed away in her mind that she’d have Persephone sent a special mirror when she got back to Mount Olympus.
Then all thoughts of Persephone and mirrors fled her mind as a group of laughing men entered the restaurant. They took seats at the gleaming oak bar and began a good-natured flirtation with Lola herself, who had emerged from the kitchen and was one of those timelessly attractive women who could have been anywhere from thirty-five to fifty-five, and who would still be confident and sexy at sixty-five and seventy-five. Obviously, the group of men were regulars as well as favorites with Lola and her wait staff.
“Who are they?” Venus asked Persephone.
“Firemen…” Persephone purred the word.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Awesome Announcement!

I am thrilled to announce that today my agent finalized a deal with Silhouette's new imprint, NOCTURNE, for the first two books in my new dark paranormal series, AFTER MOONRISE! The novels will focus on a paranormal investigative team, After Moonrise, that deals with the underbelly of the supernatural. The world is much like ours, only darker. Ghosts, hauntings, possessions, supernatural crimes, etc., are the norm, although only a minority of people can influence the spirits. My team at After Moonrise handle the darkest and most dangerous of supernatural events, with a heavy dose of

Stay tuned for specifics!

And we are having a lovely paranormal party at Out of the Blogosphere (follow the link in my blog margin). Please stop by and say hi! Lots of prizes are being given away!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

YA Series News!

Sorry I've been mute here for so long, but Deadline Hell is a scary place. Sooo...I finished the second book in our YA series, THE HOUSE OF NIGHT, BOOK 2, BETRAYED! Now Kristin has the manuscript and is going through it one last time to be sure we sound like teenagers and not a 46 year old disgrunted school teacher. Also, we got news today that THE HOUSE OF NIGHT, BOOK 1, MARKED, will be released May 2007!! Yea! As a teaser, Kristin and I (I put our picture up here because we don't have a cover to show yet) thought we'd post chapter 1. So...tell me what you think!



Just when I thought my day couldn’t get any worse I saw the dead guy standing next to my locker. Kayla was talking non-stop in her usual K-babble, and she didn’t even notice him. At first. Actually, now that I think about it no one else noticed him until he spoke, which is, tragically, more evidence of my freakish inability to fit in.

“No, but Zoey, I swear to God Heath didn’t get that drunk after the game. You really shouldn’t be so hard on him.”

“Yeah,” I said absently. “Sure.” Then I coughed. Again. I felt like crap. I must be coming down with what Mr. Wise, my more-than-slightly-insane AP biology teacher, called The Teenage Plague.

If I died would it get me out of my geometry test tomorrow? One could only hope.

“Zoey please. Are you even listening? I think he only had like four – I dunno – maybe six beers, and maybe like three shots. But that’s totally beside the point - he probably wouldn’t even have had hardly any if your stupid parents hadn’t made you go home right after the game.”

We shared a long-suffering look, in total agreement about the latest injustice committed against me by my mom and The Step-Loser she’d married three really long years ago. Then, after barely half a breath break K was back with the babbling.
“Plus, he was celebrating. I mean we beat Union!” K shook my shoulder and put her face close to mine. “Hello! Your boyfriend–”

“My almost-boyfriend,” I corrected her, trying my best not to cough on her.

“Whatever. Heath is our quarterback so of course he’s going to celebrate. It’s been like a million years since Broken Arrow beat Union.”

“Sixteen.” I’m crappy at math, but K’s math-impairment makes me look like a genius.

“Again, whatever. The point is, he was happy. You should give the boy a break.”

“The point is that he was wasted for like the fifth time this week. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to go out with a guy whose main focus in life has changed from trying to play college football to trying to chug a six pack without puking. Not to mention the fact that he’s going to get fat from all that beer.” I had to pause to cough. I was feeling a little dizzy and forced myself to take slow, deep breaths when the coughing fit was over. Not that K-babble noticed.

“Eww! Heath, fat! Not a visual I want.”

I managed to ignore another urge to cough. “And kissing him is like sucking on alcohol soaked feet.”

K scrunched up her face. “Okay, sick. Too bad he’s so hot.”

I rolled my eyes, not bothering to try to hide my annoyance at her typical shallowness.

“You’re so grumpy when you’re sick. Anyway, you have no idea how-lost-puppy-like Heath looked after you ignored him at lunch. He couldn’t even…”

Then I saw him. The dead guy. Okay, I realized pretty quick that he wasn’t technically “dead.” He was undead. Or un-human. Whatever. Scientists said one thing, people said another, but the end result was the same. There was no mistaking what he was and even if I hadn’t felt the power and darkness that radiated from him, there was no frickin’ way I could miss his Mark, the sapphire blue crescent moon on his forehead and the additional tattooing of entwining knot work that framed his equally blue eyes. He was a vampyre, and worse. He was a Tracker.

Well crap! He was standing by my locker.

“Zoey, you’re so not listening to me!”

Then the vampyre spoke and his ceremonial words slicked across the space between us, dangerous and seductive, like blood mixed with melted chocolate.
“Zoey Montgomery! Night has chosen thee; thy death will be thy birth. Night calls to thee; hearken to Her sweet voice. Your destiny awaits you at The House of Night!”

He lifted one long, white finger and pointed at me. As my forehead exploded in pain Kayla opened her mouth and screamed.


When the bright splotches finally cleared from my eyes I looked up to see K’s colorless face staring down at me. As usual, I said the first ridiculous thing that came to mind. “K, your eyes are popping out of your head like a fish.”

“He marked you. Oh, Zoey! You have the outline of that thing on your forehead!” Then she pressed a shaking hand against her white lips, unsuccessfully trying to hold back a sob.

I sat up and coughed. I had a killer headache, and I rubbed at the spot right between my eyebrows. It stung like a wasp had bit me and radiated pain down around my eyes all the way across my cheekbones. I felt like I might puke.

“Zoey!” K was really crying now and had to speak between wet little hiccups. “Oh. My. God. That guy was a Tracker – a vampyre Tracker!”

“K,” I blinked hard, trying to clear the pain from my head. “Stop crying. You know I hate it when you cry.” I reached out to attempt a comforting pat on her shoulders.
And she automatically cringed away from me.

I couldn’t believe it. She actually cringed, like she was afraid of me. She must have seen the hurt in my eyes because she instantly started a string of breathless K-babble.

“Oh, God Zoey! What are you going to do? You can’t go to that place. You can’t be one of those things. This can’t be happening! Who am I supposed to go to all of our football games with?”

I noticed that all during her tirade she didn’t once move any closer to me. I clamped down on the sick hurt feeling inside that threatened to make me burst into tears. My eyes dried instantly. I was good at hiding tears. I should be; I’d had three years to get good at it.

“It’s okay. I’ll figure this out. It’s probably some…some bizarre mistake,” I lied.
I wasn’t really talking; I was just making words come out of my mouth. Still grimacing at the pain in my head I stood up. Looking around I felt a small measure of relief that K and I were the only ones in the math hall, and then I had to choke back what I knew was hysterical laughter. Had I not been totally psycho about the Geometry Test From Hell tomorrow, and run back to my locker to get my book so I could attempt to obsessively (and pointlessly) study tonight, the Tracker would have found me standing outside in front of the school with the majority of the 1,300 kids who went to Broken Arrow’s South Intermediate High School waiting for what my stupid Barbie clone sister liked to smugly call ‘the big yellow limos.’ I have a car, but standing around with the less fortunate who have to ride the buses is a time-honored tradition, not to mention an excellent way to check out who’s hitting on who. As it was there was only one other kid in the math hall – a tall thin dork with messed up teeth, which I could, unfortunately, see too much of because he was standing there with his mouth flapping open staring at me like I’d just given birth to a litter of flying pigs.

I coughed again, this time a really wet, disgusting cough. The dork made a little squeaky sound and scuttled down the hall to Mrs. Day’s room clutching a flat board to his bony chest. Guess the chess club had changed its meeting time to Mondays after school.

Do vampyres play chess? Were there vampyre dorks? How about Barbie-like vampyre cheerleaders? Did any vampyres play in the band? Were there vampyre Emos with their guy-wearing-girl-pants weirdness and those awful bangs that cover half their faces? Or were they all those freaky Goth kids who didn’t like to bathe much? Was I going to turn into a Goth kid? Or worse, an Emo? I didn’t particularly like wearing black, at least not exclusively, and I wasn’t feeling a sudden and unfortunate aversion to soap and water, nor did I have an obsessive desire to change my hairstyle and wear too much eyeliner.

All this whirled through my mind while I felt another little hysterical bubble of laughter try to escape from my throat, and was almost thankful when it came out as a cough instead.

“Zoey? Are you okay?” Kayla’s voice sounded too high, like someone was pinching her, and she’d taken another step away from me.

I sighed and felt my first sliver of anger. It wasn’t like I’d asked for this. K and I had been best friends since third grade, and now she was looking at me like I had turned into a monster.

“Kayla, it’s just me. The same me I was two seconds ago and two hours ago and two days ago.” I made a frustrated gesture towards my throbbing head. “This doesn’t change who I am!”

K’s eyes teared up again, but, thankfully, her cell phone started singing Madonna’s Material Girl. Automatically, she glanced at the caller ID. I could tell by her rabbit-in-the-headlights expression that it was her boyfriend, Jared.

“Go on,” I said in a flat, tired voice. “Ride home with him.”

Her look of relief was like a slap in my face.

“Call me later?” she threw over her shoulder as she beat a hasty retreat out the side door.

I watched her rush across the east lawn to the parking lot. I could see that she had her cell phone smashed to her ear and was talking in animated little bursts to Jared. I’m sure she was already telling him I was turning into a monster.
The problem, of course, was that turning into a monster was the brighter of my two choices. Choice 1: I turn into a vampyre, which equals a monster in just about any human’s mind. Choice 2: My body rejects the Change and I die. Forever.
So the good news is that I wouldn’t have to take the geometry test tomorrow.
The bad news - I’d have to move into The House of Night, a private boarding school in Tulsa’s Midtown, known by all my friends as The Vampyre Finishing School, where I would spend the next four years going through bizarre and unnamable physical changes, as well as a total and permanent life shake-up. And that’s only if the whole process didn’t kill me.

Great. I didn’t want to do either. I just wanted to attempt to be normal, despite the burden of my mega-conservative parents, my troll-like younger brother, and my oh-so-perfect older sister. I wanted to pass geometry. I wanted to keep my grades up so that I could get accepted into the veterinary college at OSU and get out of Broken Arrow. But most of all, I wanted to fit in – at least at school. Home had become hopeless, so all I was left with were my friends and my life away from my family.

Now that was being taken away from me too.

I rubbed my forehead and then messed with my hair until it semi-covered my eyes, and, hopefully, the Mark that had appeared above them. Keeping my head ducked down like I was fascinated with the goo that had somehow formed in my purse, I hurried towards the door that led to the student parking lot.

But I stopped short of going outside. Through the side-by-side windows in the institutional-looking doors I could see Heath. Girls flocked around him posing and flipping their hair, while guys revved ridiculously big pickup trucks and tried (but mostly failed) to look cool. Doesn’t it figure that I would choose that to be attracted to? No, to be fair to myself I should remember that Heath used to be incredibly sweet, and even now he had his moments. Mostly when he bothered to be sober.

High-pitched girl giggles flitted to me from the parking lot. Great. Kathy Richter, the biggest ho in school, was pretending to smack Heath. Even from where I was standing it was obvious she thought hitting him was some kind of mating ritual. As usual, clueless Heath was just standing there grinning. Well hell, my day just wasn’t going to get any better. And there sat my robin’s-egg-blue 1966 VW Bug right in the middle of them. No. I couldn’t go out there. I couldn’t walk in the middle of all of them with this thing on my forehead. I’d never be able to be part of them again. I already knew too well what they’d do. I remembered the last kid a Tracker had Chosen at SIHS.

It happened at the beginning of the school year last year. The Tracker had come before school and had targeted the kid as he was walking to his first hour. I didn’t see the Tracker, but I did see the kid afterwards, for just a second, after he dropped his books and ran out of the building, his new Mark glowing on his pale forehead and tears washing down his too white cheeks. I never forgot how crowded the halls had been that morning, and how everyone had backed away from him like he had the plague as he rushed to escape out the front doors of the school. I had been one of those kids who had backed out of his way and stared, even though I’d felt really sorry for him. I just hadn’t wanted to be labeled as that-one-girl-who’s-friends-with-those-freaks. Kinda ironic now, isn’t it?

Instead of going to my car I headed for the nearest restroom, which was, thankfully, empty. There were three stalls – yes, I double-checked each for feet. On one wall were two sinks, over which hung two medium sized mirrors. Across from the sinks the opposite wall was covered with a huge mirror that had a ledge below it for holding brushes and makeup and whatnot. I put my purse and my geometry book on the ledge, took a deep breath, and in one motion lifted my head and brushed back my hair.
It was like staring into the face of a familiar stranger. You know, that person you see in a crowd and swear you know, but you really don’t? Now she was me – the familiar stranger.

She had my eyes. They were the same hazel color that could never decide if it wanted to be green or brown, but my eyes had never been that big and round. Had they? She had my hair – long and straight and almost as dark as my grandma’s had been before hers had begun to turn silver. The stranger had my high cheekbones, long, strong nose, and wide mouth – more features from my grandma and her Cherokee ancestors. But my face had never been that pale. I’d always been olive-ish, much darker skinned than anyone else in my family. But maybe it wasn’t that my skin was suddenly so white…maybe it just looked pale in comparison to the dark blue outline of the crescent moon that was perfectly positioned in the middle of my forehead. Or maybe it was the horrid fluorescent lighting. I hoped it was the lighting.
I stared at the exotic looking tattoo. Mixed with my strong Cherokee features it seemed to brand me with a mark of wildness…like I belonged to ancient times when the world was bigger…more barbaric.

From this day on my life would never be the same. And for a moment – just an instant – I forgot about the horror of not belonging and felt a shocking burst of pleasure while deep inside of me the blood of my grandmother’s people rejoiced.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Girlfriend release month

Two of my fabulous girlfriends have releases this month.

First, we have the always amazing Gena Showalter and PLAYING WITH FIRE.

The blurb says:

Earth, Wind and Fire aren’t just a band anymore…

Used to be my greatest achievement was holding a job more than three days. Now suddenly I can shoot fireballs, chill your drink, or blow-dry your hair at fifty paces with a blink of my eye!

It all started when this crazy scientist dropped something in my grande mocha latte. Of course I got wicked sick. Next morning I’m waking up with this total hottie bending over me. He tells me 1) his name’s Rome Masters, 2) he’s a government agent and 3) I can control the four elements with a thought.

He seems even less pleased by my (apparently irreversible) transformation that I am. . . because now he’s supposed to kill me. The only good news: I didn’t make this bed of trouble, but Rome sure seems to want me to lie in it. With him.

Okay - naturally I bought this book and started reading it. I had it at school with me on my desk (planning on relaxing with it during my way too short lunch period) when one of my high school students started looking at it. She read the first few pages and begged me to pulllleeeze let her read it. So the teenager took the book. Sigh. Her current report is, "Like, I'm almost done with it and it SERIOUSLY rocks. Seriously. She's, like, majorly funny and the guy is hot. Miss Cast, do you have any more of her books?" So there's the real review. Check it out, and YES, GENA BABY, I'LL BUY ANOTHER COPY FOR MYSELF.

The second release this month isn't a romance - it's not even fiction, but I highly recommend it. The book is called REMEMBERING THE FUTURE: The path to recovering intuition, by my friend Colette Baron-Reid. Colette is a Canadian singer/songwriter (check out her fabulous website: She is also an intuitive (what you might call a psychic). She is an incredible woman, and this book is excellent. Here's the book description:

Within each of us is the voice of an inner teacher-guardian that is our link to the unseen world of Soul. Its purpose is to guide and protect us. It allows us an “all-access pass” to the vast arena of Divine intelligence, potential, and power. It is called intuition. We all have it, yet sadly, most people are disconnected from it.

Using her own turbulent yet remarkable life as a narrative, along with fascinating stories from her clients, internationally renowned intuitive counselor Colette-Baron Reid shares the deeply moving and amazing story of her journey to finally accepting, and exulting in, her extraordinary gift of intuition and foresight, which had been thirsting to be heard since she was a young child.

Over the past 17 years, Colette has amassed an international client base that spans 29 countries, while offering astonishing personal insights that many consider miraculous. She now openly and generously shares that journey in Remembering the Future, which will not only leave you filled with hope and empowerment, but will guide you in rediscovering your magical gift of intuition.

By following Colette’s Seven Spiritual Keys, you’ll experience a consciously fulfilling, creative life, filled with profound harmony and opportunity. And most important, you’ll know who you really are. . . .

So check her out, and perhaps get in touch with your inner psychic! If you've read my books you know that I believe strongly in the intuitive ability of women, and think that for too long we've allowed a patriarchal world to bully us into turning away from our innate intuition.

Oh, and an interesting tidbit is that the beautiful picture on the cover is Colette!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Re-teenaging Myself (as scarey as that is)

Okay. I'm well over half way in book 2 of the paranormal YA series my daughter and I are writing for St. Martin's. This one is: THE HOUSE OF NIGHT, Book 2, BETRAYED. And I have to tell you - writing YA is definitely a different experience. I'm 46. Yes, that's 4 years away from 50. Five - Oh. Our heroine, Zoey, is almost 17 in this book. We're telling the stories first person from her pov. So I'm inside a teenager's head. In this book the sexual tension is really heating up - NOT inappropriately, trust me on this. But it's definitely there, especially because Zoey is Changing into a vampyre, and experiencing bloodlust for her human ex-boyfriend. Zoey's a virgin (not all innocent and stupid, though - she's not a moron), but a sexual awakening is going on with her. It's really forcing me to do some serious back-in-time remembering. True, my daughter and co-author, Kristin, goes through everything I write and she re-writes, being sure Zoey and the rest of the kids actually sound and act like teenagers, but I don't want to hand my daughter a ridiculous mess of totally adult emotions/reactions, or blank paragraphs with "KRISTIN, FIX THIS FOR MAMA" scrawled across the page. Plus, as an experienced author I like the challange. (And I like it when Kristin tells me stuff like, "Good job, Mama, you got that totally right!)

Anyway, for those of you who are aspiring romance authors, I think it's a good exercise to flash back in time (for some of you it might not be too far of a flash...) and write a scene or two about sexual awakening - I mean early stuff. Not a 25 year old who's losing her virginity. I'm talking 14-16-ish, before you're really clued in, but you'd like to think you are. I can tell that what I'm writing now is going to help me increase the sexual tension level in my adult novels. It's like an exercise in getting back to the basics. It's dissecting emotion and motivation. Give it a try!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Guest Blogging @ The Idea Boutique

Hi All!
The lovely ladies at The Idea Boutique asked me to guest blog about where my writing inspiration comes from, which is a subject I think is fun and interesting to write about. Run by and check out the blog at: - I'd love it if y'all would chime in!


Saturday, September 02, 2006

FINALLY!! (or a lesson in outlasting asshats)

FINALLY!! I've been waiting since 2001 to see my first novel, GODDESS BY MISTAKE, published by a "real" publisher with a "real" editor and "real" distribution. It has been a long, frustrating journey since I mistakeningly (pun intended) allowed an inept small press (not all small presses are inept - example: Ellora's Cave is fabulous) to publish GbM. Basically, it's been a lesson in outlasting asshats, as well as a lesson in how Karma can kick ass. Anyway, here's a summary of how GODDESS BY MISTAKE became DIVINE BY MISTAKE, and why it took so many years for the book to be available (almost exactly five).

DIVINE BY MISTAKE, which was released by LUNA this month, used to be GODDESS BY MISTAKE and is set one hundred twenty-five plus years before the events of ELPHAME’S CHOICE and BRIGHID’S QUEST. Okay, stay with me here. It might get confusing...

DIVINE BY MISTAKE was my very first book. It was published in August 2001 under the title GODDESS BY MISTAKE by a small press with a tiny print run and very limited distribution. At that time I was a naïve first time author without an agent or any experience (I also wonder if I might have been without sense, too, when I look back on that dreadful first contract!). So my book was released, and I’d already almost finished its sequel, GODDESS BY CHOICE, and had a third book outlined, GODDESS BY DESIGN – and, Wham! Out of nowhere I get a 4 ½ star top pick gold review from Romantic Times Magazine, and GbM finals in The Holt Medallion, Prism, Laurel Wreath, and National Readers’ Choice Award. It eventually wins all of these except the NRCA. This wonderful attention helped me sign on with my incredible agent, Meredith Bernstein, and within four days she had an offer from Berkley for the trilogy. As you can imagine, I was deliriously happy – until I was informed the small press refused to sell the rights to GbM, thereby ‘holding hostage’ the second and third books in the trilogy.

I like to believe out of negatives can be born positives, which is definitely what happened in this case. Because my Partholon series was temporarily dead (and sitting under my bed) I was forced to come up with an idea for a new series of books, which became the Goddess Summoning Books for Berkley.

Meanwhile, I never forgot that I had a fabulous trilogy in limbo. For years my agent diligently attempted to get the rights of GbM back, and I waited...and waited...and waited...and wrote other books while the wretched small press held GbM, GbC, and GbD hostage.

Then I heard about Harlequin’s new fantasy imprint for women, LUNA, and knew my Partholon books would be perfect for it. But, again, the small press wouldn’t release my rights. So I got mad and did some serious brainstorming, which is when I came up with the idea to take my basic plot plan for the third book, GODDESS BY DESIGN, and set it in the future so that I could have the beginnings of a new series which refers back to and is based upon the events of GODDESS BY MISTAKE as history. And that is the idea LUNA bought in a three book package: ELPHAME’S CHOICE, BRIGHID’S QUEST, and CIARA’S DESTINY.

Soon after my sale my agent was finally able to get the small press to agree to sell my rights to GODDESS BY MISTAKE (I won't even go into the details of the small press's greed and the ridiculous amount of money I had to pay to get my rights to this book back, let's just suffice to say that Karma is already eating them alive), and LUNA quickly bought the book and its sequel. It had been four years since GbM was first published. Who said good things come to those who wait? I think fantastic is a better word than simply good!

So why the title change from GbM and GbC to DIVINE BY MISTAKE and DIVINE BY CHOICE? That was a condition of my contract with Berkley. While I’m writing “goddess” books for them the word goddess can’t appear in any of my other titles.

Does that clear things up? I think it’s easy to understand when you read the books. So we’ve had Elphame’s and Brighid’s stories – now we’re going to get Shannon Parker’s story, and the Fomorian War. Then there will be a sequel to DbC, DIVINE BY BLOOD and another book, DIVINE BY DESTINY, wherein I tie all the Partholon books together (DIVINE BY DESTINY was originally titled CIARA’S DESTINY). Hope you’ll come along for the ride!

QUESTIONS? Did I totally confuse you?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Covers! From a cover artist's pov.

As y'all already know, I've been dubbed Lucky Cover Bitch by the fabulous Sarah at Smart Bitches Trashy Books. I have excellent cover chi, and I say over and over, loud and clear, that I LOVE MY COVER ARTISTS! I'm so grateful for their talent and insight. No matter what we like to say, don't judge a book by its cover, etc., covers matter (just like size matters, but that's a whole other blog...). I admit to picking up books soley because of a cover - The Red Tent, Twilight, Hawksong, just to name three quick examples. A good cover can make the difference between a book bombing or not. I definitely believe that.

So I was thrilled when James Griffin, the fabulous cover artist for my next two Luna books, DIVINE BY MISTAKE and DIVINE BY CHOICE, contacted me to point me to his blog, wherein he blogged about the process he used to create the cover for DIVINE BY MISTAKE. Check it out at Authors rarely have any contact with cover artists, so it was fantastic to be able to tell James how much I appreciate him. He also graciously agreed to answer a few questions for my blog. So here we go...

PC: James, what is the normal process when you’re contracted for a cover?
Do you always only read the single sheet the publisher (at least
in the case of the HQ Empire) sends you? Do you ever need more
info? Do you ever read the novels?

JG: I am usually given a one page info sheet with the main character
descriptions and basics of the story. Hardly ever do I see a
manuscript any more, though publishers used to send me whole
manuscripts, typos and all to read. I do think more information would
sometimes help me to get the feel of the story and people,
particularly to mine those details that can add to a cover's interest
and uniqueness. I do a lot amount of research for each book, and
accumulate images by the thousands. It's part of an illustrator's job
to know what costumes, architecture, transportation was like in 1805,
or the Roman times, etc. My research helps get me to the point where I
think I can see what it was like on a street in London in 1560. Of
course, with Fantasy, I just visualize what she was writing about,
then try to make it real.

PC: 2. What is the most difficult aspect of creating a cover?

JG: When I read, I see images. That's just the way I was born. But sometimes
the image I see when I read one of these description pages doesn't agree
with what is desired by the editorial department. Sometimes we get
several sketches into the project before it dawns on me that we're on
completely different wavelengths! That's hard for me to recover from,
because I've gotten really fond of /my/ idea!

PC: 3. What can authors do to help you with the creation of the best
cover possible?

JG: If an author can distill an element or scene from their book that would
be fantastic. I have gotten info sheets where I'm told the involved
lineage of the main character, but not enough of what he or she looks
like, where they are, what they're wearing, etc, or more importantly,
what's interesting about their book. The number one thing a cover has to
do is to get the potential reader to pick the book up! After that it's
the blurb-writer's job to keep them holding it. As a book customer, I
also check out the first page to see if I like the writing. None of that
happens if the book doesn't get picked up. So details about the exact
color of the hero's pants just don't matter. If the author can help give
us clues into what is exciting about this book, what made them
interested enough to write the thing, I think we illustrators would
catch the spirit.

PC: 4. Do you have a favorite piece you’d like to share?

JG: I am very fond of the two Divine covers I did for your books. They
happen to fit right in with a project I've been working on for myself
called, _Forces Of Nature._ I seem to enjoy working with Goddess
subjects and your books gave me a cahnce to explore that . My project
deals with women symbolizing concepts like the Tides, Night, Day, etc. I
love getting into the otherworldly, but also there is something about
projecting these powers onto a woman that I find fascinating. Though not
a Goddess, the adolescent girl in the Prairie River series, set in the
1860s, has some of their strength. PC's _Divine_ book covers and
examples of all the pieces mentioned above can be seen on my Blog at: Be sure to look at the archives.

PC: 5. What is your favorite medium?

JG: That is hard to answer simply, because painting for me has become a
strange hybris of computer technology and the ancient art of oil
painting. The two actually compliment each other quite well. The
computer is a giant paintbox of tools I used to only dream of, but oil
painting has a kind of"soul" to it that I always return to. What I often
do now is design the image on the computer and then translate it to
canvas where I paint it in oils. Very often there is no actual painting,
but only a computer image. This is the case for _Divine By Mistake_ and
_Divine By Choice_. It's hard to tell, looking at them that they are

PC: 6. Do you have a gallery I can point people to? Are any of the
covers (either originals or prints) for sale to the general
public, and if so how would one go about purchasing them?

JG: I don't have a gallery. You'd think I would, after illustrating for 30
years. But I never got around to looking for one. That is changing now
and I will be getting it together sometime in the coming year. In the
meantime, I do sell large prints of the art and accept commissions. You
can contact me at my Blog:

Thank you, James, for your wonderful answers! And now, shouldn't you be working on the cover for Divine by Blood...

Monday, July 31, 2006

RWA Workshop on YA continued...

(Thought y'all would like to see to whom you're addressing your questions. So behold Chicken!)

For those of you who attended my Thursday morning workshop in Atlanta on "How to Create Believable YA Characters" I say a big THANK YOU for being such a fabulous audience! My wonderfully talented daughter and co-author of our paranormal YA series for St. Martin's Press, THE HOUSE OF NIGHT, could not make the w/s in Atlanta (she's working ridiculous 12 hour shifts, as well as taking 6 hours of class this summer at NSU). So the deal is that we'll post questions for Kristin here on my blog, and she will blog in and answer them for you. Some of you wrote questions on notecards during the w/s. Okay. I had the notecards. I promise. Really. (KRISTIN - REALLY, MAMA HAD THE NOTECARDS!) I unpacked this morning and could NOT find them. Sigh.

BUT I read the questions and I do remember several of them. I'll post them below. Kristin will respond, and the rest of y'all please feel free to chime in with any question you'd like to ask Kristin (who is 19) about YA, teenagers, writing in general, etc.

Questions for Kristin:

1. Do you think it matters if you're living in one part of the country and writing about teenagers in another part of the country? Like I'm living in D.C. and I'm setting my book in L.A. Or should I worry about making my teenagers more generic, so they'll appeal to a wide audience? For instance, I know that some of the stuff you (and your mom) are writing about is specific to Oklahoma teens. Do you worry about the rest of the country not getting it? And if so, what do you do about that?

2. There's a big debate going on over how much sex to put in YA books. What's your opinion? And have you and your mom had any issues between the two of you about the sex level of your series?

3. Do all teens cuss? What if I have a futuristic or fantasy setting?

4. What is the most common mistake adult authors make when writing for teenagers?

Okay KRISTIN FRANCES CAST (KFC, or as we like to call her, Chicken - hee hee) answer away mama's precious!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Atlanta Bound!

Well, I'm leaving first thing in the morning to start the drive to Atlanta. I'm going through Nashville, where I'll spend the night, and then on to Hotlanta. I'm looking forward to seeing all my author friends, fans from around the country, and my Luna and Berkley editors. Not to mention the great parties and seeing if Brighid's Quest won the Bookseller's Best or the Daphne de Maurier!

Don't forget to check out the MYSTERIA signing at the Atlanta Buckhead Borders, Thursday the 27th from 7:00-9:00.

I'm teaching a workshop on Thursday, too, on how to create believable teenage characters (as if there is such a creature!). My fabulous daughter and co-author of our YA series for St. Martin's can't make it to Atlanta, so I'll be taking questions from w/s attendees, posting them here, and Kristin will be blogging responses. So stay tuned (and save up your YA questions for a real YA).


Friday, July 21, 2006

Check out Sue's new book!

I'm excited about my friend Sue Grant's new book! I haven't read it yet, but I'm going to grab a copy in Atlanta and have Sue sign it for me - then I'm going to stick my nose in it. I can tell you that I got sneak peeks whilst Sue was writing it, and loved what I read! Here are the details:

(HQN Books, July 25, 2006)

Think the grocery store is a great place to meet men?

Hunky interstellar fugitive, aisle 5.

With outrageously false accusations piling up against her famous political family and an ex-fiancé in hot water determined to take her down with him, the last thing Jana Jasper needs is more trouble--especially man trouble. But when she heads to the grocery store for an ice cream fix, not only does the muscled hunk in the frozen foods section ranting about spaceships and invasions look crazy, he looks... familiar.

Cavin of Far Star has never forgotten the girl he met during his weeks spent on that quaint little world, planet Earth, the girl who didn't believe he was real. And now he'll risk his future to save her. All she has to do is take him to her leader. Simple enough plan--although Jana isn't so easily convinced. Hell-bent on charming his way past her defenses, he's determined to stay one step ahead of the galaxy's most feared assassin--and may just capture his favorite Earthling's heart in the process.

One of the first women in history to attend the US Air Force Academy, a former Air Force instructor pilot, and currently a 747 jumbo jet pilot for United Airlines, New York Times best-seller and RITA winner Susan Grant loves writing about what she knows -- flying, adventure, and the delicious interaction between men and women.

" of the best books of the year!" - Mary Janice Davidson, New York Times bestselling author
“...a cute, quirky otherworldly romance that’s totally delightful to read!” -- Tanzey Cutter
“Veers uncomfortably close to our actual plans to invade your pitiful little planet. Pull this book from the shelves immediately or I shall have it vaporized!” -- General Neppal, Supreme Commander of the Coalition fleet

For more info, go to Sue's website,

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

First Man Titty Cover AND First Hardback!

I am THRILLED that my July anthology, MYSTERIA (Berkley), is doing so well! We're making some lovely lists and getting excellent reviews. Even scary Publisher's Weekly liked us. Amazing. And it was exciting to find out that MYSTERIA is available in a hardback version for the Doubleday and Rhapsody book clubs. We're already hearing rumblings from Berkley about wanting a MYSTERIA II. Well done us!

Don't forget that next week, July 27th, at the Buckhead Borders in Atlanta, 7:00-9:00, all four of us, MaryJanice Davidson, Susan Grant, Gena Showalter, and moi will be signing copies of Mysteria, giving away door prizes, and generally making merry! Please come by and see us if you're in the area

F'd up blog and sci-fi

Well, I totally messed up my blog and I'm clueless about how to fix it. Those of you who don't have a MAC know that the damn thing has been smooshed over to the left for like two weeks. It was driving me crazy. So I called in the servies of my Web Goddess, Shawn Wilson, who designs and maintains my fab website, and she couldn't find my mistake. Sigh. I was going to post a question to the blog help thingie, but I lost what little patience I have and decided to just choose another template and maybe that would fix it. It did. It also lost all of my links, etc. Shit. And I didn't like the new look. So I went back to this one and now I have to figure out how to add my links back in. I am truly the computer impaired. But I should be writing and it's excellent procrastination.

Anyway, last weekend the fabulous Gena Showalter and I were in Oklahoma City at SoonerCon (sci-fi/fantasy con). Now, God(dess) knows I wouldn't tell stories on a girlfriend, BUT GENA DRANK TOO MUCH. Okay, those of you who know me know that I, too, have a tendency to be "over served." But not when I'm dancing and in general out in public mixing with groups of people, etc. I change to soda water. Gena, God(dess) bless her, is young young young, so she hasn't learned the soda water trick yet. And the girl does NOT like to speak in public. I swung by her house and picked her up. She had cute little bottles (chilled) of a very attractive looking blue liquid. I can't remember what the damn thing was called, but she got it at a Harlequin party, which is a sure sign of trouble. So like naughty high school girls we're in the bathroom before our panel and Gena is slamming down this blue booze. Naturally I couldn't allow her to drink alone. I've been raised better. So I tried some. Okay, it is some VILE shit. Oh. My. God. It was awful. Truly wretched. Oh, wait! I think it's call Hypnotic. Hello. Barfnotic would be a better name. I won't go into details about our panels except to briefly mention that Gena-Gena actually mixed the Barfnotic with lemonade and was drinking it during the damn panels. Let's just say Gena-Gena was very entertaining. That evening her husband, who she calls Love Bunny, picked us up and we went down to Bricktown to a fun club for dancing. Hence, my cessation of drinking and Gena's nasty hangover the next day.

Speaking of the next day. Gena and I hung out with totally, ridiculously handsome Richard Cox. (He's engaged to a friend of mine, Fox News anchor Chera Kimiko, who is equally as gorgeous. I'm telling you - they're going to make some beautiful babies!) His current release is THE GOD PARTICLE. PW says it's a thriller (my dad grabbed it from me, so I haven't read it yet), and from what delicious Richard says it sounds kinda sci-fi-ish. So check it out if you have a taste for science thrillers. His website is MORE IMPORTANTLY, Gena and I are trying to talk him into trying his hand at romance. Okay, this is a purely selfish attempt to lure him into our genre so that he'll be at our romance conventions, which are totally lacking in the Cute Male Author category. Updates to come...hee hee...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

1920s Time Travel? Love it!

Check out Marianne's new book. I love the roaring 20s, so I can't wait to read this one!
WHAT, NO ROSES? by Marianne Mancusi
(Love Spell, July 4, 2006)

And you thought your Valentine's Day was bad?

Unless Dora Duncan can stop it, it's going to be another St. Valentine's Day Massacre. A year ago, her (now ex) boyfriend Nick stood her up at the worst possible moment. That was when she gave up important TV reporting for stories like "Too Stressed for Sex." And though such clips have a certain relevance, things have been a whole lot quieter. Too quiet. Until now.

Now she's gotta go back in time (don't ask!) and stop that very same Nick from messing up the time-space continuum. She has to travel back to a place where everybody speaks easy and cuts a rug-and this Chicago ain't no musical. Here, there are tommy guns and torpedoes, guys and dolls, gin joints, flappers, stoolies, rats and a whole lot more; and prohibition means anything but no.

It's the 1920s. Time for Dora to roar.



When not out exposing scams and righting wrongs, Emmy award–winning TV news producer Marianne Mancusi is probably writing.
Her first chick lit novel, "A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court" was called "a sparkling debut" by Publisher's Weekly. And Romantic Times magazine awarded four Stars to her upcoming 1920s time travel "What, No Roses?", pronouncing it "fast, funny and as bubbly as bathtub champagne."
In addition, Marianne has six other adult and teen books under contract, including a teen comedy vampire series from Berkley called "Boys that Bite."
She lives in Boston's historic North End.


Mancusi’s witty, tongue-in-cheek remarks and sprightly dialogue make for a joy ride of a read with an ending that’s as surprising as it is original. 4 stars – Romantic Times

Ms. Mancusi’s sense of comedic and dramatic timing is dead on... She masterfully blends a time in our history with an idea from her incredible imagination. – Once Upon a Romance


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Help needed!

Y'all remember a while ago when the big ARC selling thing went on? I posted about it, as did several other authors/blogs. Well, the lovely June Portnoy is writing an article about the sale of ARC debate for RWR (Romance Writers Report). She'd love to get your input. I know several of you made excellent points on my blog - several of you emailed me privately. June would like to hear from you. (She's great to talk with - don't be scared!) So if you'd like, please shoot her an email at

Well done you guys!


So last night my daughter and I went to the opening of SUPERMAN RETURNS. Yes, we were wearing matching pink tee-shirts with the massive Superman S in pink sequins across our bosoms. Uh, no. We weren't the only ones "dressed up." Please. It was opening night. We saw capes. (hee hee) Actually, we loved the dorky audience who cheered and cried and generally made merry.

Okay - let me just be very clear. THE NEW SUPERMAN IS FABULOUS!! The guy is hawt hawt hawt. Yes, he did remind me freakishly of Chris Reeve, but it felt like a good thing. A tribute. Yet scrumptious Brandon Routh gave us just enough of his own Superman to have his role be unique. Man, talk about an angsty hero. (romantic sigh) The only thing that can knock the shit outta him worse than Kryptonite (sp??) is Lois Lane. The sexual tension between them was lovely, though I would have liked to have had this played up more. Clearly they need a good romance author on staff...(HELL YES I VOLUNTEER!) Anyway, it's set up for a sequel. I'll be there on opening night again. Promise.

Oh, the violence level might be too much for kids under 10 or so. I'd leave the kiddies at home.

Let me know what y'all think after you see it!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Sushi and vampires?

Okay, two things. First, I am reading a really excellent book, TWILIGHT by Stephanie Meyer. It's a vampire YA, and the (young) author's first book. I bought it in hardback because several of my high school students recommended it and I wanted to see what the buzz was about. Plus, you know my daughter and I are writing a YA vamp series for St. Martin's. So naturally I was curious. Kristin and I just finished the rewrites on the 1st book, so I decided to start TWILIGHT. I absolutely can not keep my face out of the book! The setting is multi-layered - the characters are well drawn - and Meyer's take on vampires is interesting.

So I take TWILIGHT to dinner with me last night (because my sissy brother refuses to eat sushi and my girlfriends were all busy), and I have to admit it - I pigged out totally on sushi and drank two orders of fabulous Pearl sake because I could not stop reading that damn book! I just kept ordering and ordering and eating and drinking and reading. Jeesh.

So I say buy this book - but it should come with a food and drink warning...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Yes, I'm a dork...

Yes. I'm going to totally admit it. I'm dorkishly in love with Superman. Have been since I read my way through the mounds of comics in our next door neighbor's rec room in like 1970 (Explanation: I have 2 younger brothers. Tragically, we lived in the country where the only acceptable neighbor within walking distance had 4 more boys and 1 girl. The girl and I were sadly out numbered - although to this day I still have the hots for Sean Freeman Georges who was my favorite of the brothers. Damn, he grew up to be hawt! But that's another topic...) Anyway, they had piles of "guy" comics, which I adored. Superman, Batman, Thor, Swamp Thing, The Fantastic Four...the list goes on and on. So I started my love affair with Superman (about the same time I started my adoration for Sexy Sean) when I was 10-ish. Chris Reeve was The Perfect Superman, both on and off screen. He's going to be a hard act to follow. But I'm willing to give this new guy a chance.

What do y'all think??

Check it out:

The idea for Julie's Demon books is hilarious. Check out her new release:

CALIFORNIA DEMON: The Secret Life of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner
(Berkley Trade, June 2006)

What's a mother to do, when there are only so many hours in the day, and the fate of the world is in her hands?

Kate Connor was a retired demon hunter. Now, after fourteen years busting her tail as a suburban housewife, raising two kids, and supporting her husband's political ambitions, she's rejoined the workforce-and except for a few minions of evil, no one has a clue. She tries hard to keep her home and work lives separate-a good idea when your job involves random slaughter.

Between fending off demon attacks, trying to figure out why the mysterious new teacher at the high school seems so strangely familiar, and keeping a watchful eye on her daughter's growing infatuation with a surfer dude, Kate is the busiest-and most dangerous-soccer mom on the block…


• Groceries
• Pay bills
• Gas up the minivan
• Pick Allie up from cheerleader practice
• Clean out nest of evil, blood-thirsty preternatural creatures with a few wooden stakes, some holy water, and a can of Diet Coke
• Self-defense class
• Volunteer at nursing home
• Battle determined demon while making meal
• Put Timmy to bed
• Clean up dishes
• Dispose of demon carcass
• Iron Stuart’s shirt
• Write tomorrow’s to-do list


ABOUT JULIE KENNERNational bestselling author Julie Kenner's first book hit the stores in February of 2000, and she's been on the go ever since. Her books have hit lists as varied as USA Today, Waldenbooks, Barnes & Noble, and Locus Magazine. Julie is also a former RITA finalist, the winner of Romantic Times' Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Contemporary Paranormal of 2001, and the winner of the Reviewers International Organization's award for best romantic suspense of 2004. She writes a range of stories from sexy and quirky romances to chick lit suspense to paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom, was selected as a Booksense Summer Paperback Pick for

ABOUT JULIE KENNERNational bestselling author Julie Kenner's first book hit the stores in February of 2000, and she's been on the go ever since. Her books have hit lists as varied as USA Today, Waldenbooks, Barnes & Noble, and Locus Magazine. Julie is also a former RITA finalist, the winner of Romantic Times' Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Contemporary Paranormal of 2001, and the winner of the Reviewers International Organization's award for best romantic suspense of 2004. She writes a range of stories from sexy and quirky romances to chick lit suspense to paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom, was selected as a Booksense Summer Paperback Pick for

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Werewolf lurve!

Check out my fellow Berkley author's newest werewolf novel! Sounds delicious...

SHADOW OF THE MOON by Rebecca York
(Berkley, June 6, 2006)

Lance Marshall has a nose for great news stories-not surprising, since he's aided by his werewolf abilities. Now he's prowling outside an ultra-exclusive Washington, D.C. nightclub-"The Castle." But he is not alone. Savannah Carpenter wants to know how her sister ended up in a coma, and she knows that The Castle has something to do with it. But when Lance and Savannah pretend to be lovers to gain entrance, they learn that deception and unbridled lust can be a dangerous combination.



Ever since she can remember, Ruth Glick has loved making up stories full of adventure, romance and suspense. As a child she corralled her friends into adventure games or acted out romantic suspense stories with a cast of dolls. But she never assumed she could be an author, because she couldn't spell. Her life changed, however, with the invention of the word processor and spelling checker--and the help of her husband, Norman Glick, who spots spelling errors from fifty paces away. Writing as Rebecca York, she has authored or co-authored over 45 romantic suspense novels, many for Harlequin Intrigue's very popular 43 Light Street series, set in Baltimore, and many with paranormal elements.


The York werewolf moon novels contains several excellent paranormal romantic suspense tales (see CRIMSON MOON), but SHADOW OF THE MOON may be the best of the series so far. The action-packed story line is fast-paced and filled with sexual tension accentuated by the danger that the audience will taste as if we have the enhanced sense of a werewolf. The lead couple is a delightful pairing as they investigate the goings on at the club, what happened to Charlotte, and the attraction between them in a gripping thriller. – Harriet Klausner

Fans get to meet yet another Marshall boy in Rebecca York’s latest novel about the werewolf clan, SHADOW OF THE MOON.This time it's freelance reporter Lance Marshall and he's scented out a story on an very exclusive D.C. establishment that he's heard rumors about, the Eighteen Club.. . .
As if werewolves, psychic abilities and lifemates aren't enough, York adds yet another element to her werewolf series in SHADOW OF THE MOON. It makes for excellent reading. --

York’s highly popular werewolf tales take an even more intriguing turn in this new story. The sexual tension is taut and the story crisp, which keeps up the momentum. The small side plot is an engrossing teaser for the next chapter in this quite compelling saga. 4 ½ stars – Romantic Times


Friday, June 09, 2006

Romance Divas!

Come join me in an informal paranormal workshop at Romance Divas! I'll be there all of today (June 9th) and in and out the 10th and 11th. Here's the info:

World Building Q & A with: Kelly Armstrong, Moi, Karen Chance, CJ Barry, Deidre Knight, Robin Owens, Shanna Swendson, Gena Showlater, Lynn Viehl, JR Ward

Just to go the Romance Diva's website, register, and post a question!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Okie Lurve!

Hat's off to my fellow Okie, Jaci Burton! Let's show some lurve for OUT OF THE DARKNESS! Check it out:

OUT OF THE DARKNESS by Jaci Burton and C. J. Burton
(Ellora’s Cave)

Harlee has lived as a human her entire life, working as a psychiatrist on a secret government project evaluating captured werewolves and vampires. Then one night two strangers jerk her from her bed, blindfold her and turn her world upside down. She is taken deep into the realm of lycans and vampires and told an unbelievable story-that she is the daughter of a forbidden union between a vampire and a werewolf and now possibly the future leader of both their clans.

She doesn't believe them. Vampires and werewolves are the enemies of humans. She hangs onto her humanity, her one and only goal to escape from her sexy and enigmatic captors before she loses her heart and possibly her very soul.

The vampire Adrian's and the lycan Duncan's goals are entirely different-to mate with the fiery beauty and determine whether her dominant blood is vampire or werewolf. One merely desires her. One will claim her for all eternity.

But dark forces turn what begins as a search for identity into a struggle for survival.



Jaci Burton was born and raised in Missouri but now lives on an acre-and-a-half in Oklahoma with her husband Charlie. Jaci loves to write about passionate relationships with sometimes stormy outcomes but always a happily ever after. She’s a sucker for romance and a happy ending!


Out of the Darkness is fabulous! This vivid glimpse of a world filled with vampires and lycans, secret plots and erotic sexual encounters will leave you clamoring for more. – eCataRomance Reviews

Out Of The Darkness is an incredible tale of one woman’s struggle with her past and what her future may become. – Romance Junkies


Wednesday, May 24, 2006


I am honored and excited to report that BRIGHID'S QUEST is a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier award! I couldn't be happier about this! Thank you so much to the RWA's Kiss of Death Chapter - a very talented group of women. Yea!!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Gothic delish

Another fellow Berkley author, Jennifer St. Giles, has a new book out. It sounds like a delicious mixture of Gothic and paranormal. Check it out:

MIDNIGHT SECRETS by Jennifer St. Giles
(Berkeley, May 2, 2006)

"When two are born together, one will die by the other's hand..." This is the Dragon's Curse that has plagued the Killdarens for generations and continues on in this tale set on the Cornish Coast of 1879 England. Sean and Alex thought they'd escaped the Dragon's curse until in a rage of suspicion and accusation the twins come close to killing each other the night the woman they both loved was murdered. Eight years later, the only thing they agree on is to remain unwed and childless, to never pass on the Dragon's Curse. Then another woman disappears. This time from Sean Killdaren's castle and his reclusive world is shattered when Cassie Andrews, a journalist, goes undercover as a downstairs maid. He can no more ignore her than he can ignore the murderer hiding behind the secrets of Killdaren Castle's stone walls.



Following the birth of her third child, Jennifer St. Giles quit her job as a nurse and became a home educator to her three children and pursued her life long dream of writing in her "spare time". Jenni lives in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband of twenty-three years, her three children, two cats, one dog, and a two-handfuls of neighborhood kids who make the household the wildest most wonderful Grand Central Station in existence.


St. Giles brings the classic Gothic to a new sensual level. . .combining dark atmosphere and the twisted plot of great mystery. Four Stars - RT BOOKClub ...a terrific Victorian romantic suspense that grips the reader and the paranormal elements blend in completely... Harriet Klausner Midnight Secrets incorporates classic Gothic themes with its brooding atmosphere... filled with tragedies and secrets. Susan Wilson


Sunday, April 30, 2006

Great title!

Check out Shanna's new book. The title alone would make me buy it...
ONCE UPON STILETTOS by Shanna Swendson
(Ballantine Books, April 25, 2006)

When we left Katie Chandler at the end of Enchanted, Inc., she had helped her new employers, Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc. defeat Phelan Idris, a rogue wizard intent on stealing spells. By her side, and leading the battle, was hunky wizard Owen. Katie and Owen are still fighting their attraction to each other in Shanna Swendson’s hilarious and charming sequel Once Upon Stilettos, but first they have to track down a corporate spy before the company dissolves into paranoia. Then at the worst possible time, Katie's immunity to magic goes on the blink. At least she's having better luck in her social life, with men falling at her feet everywhere she goes. Has she really become that irresistible, or is it the new red shoes she felt compelled to buy? Polish your fairy wings, put on your magic shoes, click your heels three times, and join Shanna Swendson for a romantic romp amidst fairies, goblins, wizards and gargoyles.



In addition to writing fiction, Shanna Swendson is a freelance marketing consultant and writer specializing in technology and telecommunications. She is single and lives in Irving, Texas, with her many pet plants, including a vicious attack bougainvillea and a Christmas cactus that has outlasted three homes, three jobs and three boyfriends, yet still faithfully blooms every Christmas and Easter. She’s looking for a man that reliable.


"Once Upon Stilettos is not to be missed if you're in the mood for a fast and funny read where chicklit meets urban fantasy." -- Mary Jo Putney, author of A Kiss of Fate
"A princely wizard, Cinderella red stilettos, and a megalomaniac--what more could a girl ask for? ONCE UPON STILETTOS is a delightful urban fairytale with a dreamy hero and a country-wise Texas heroine who use their magical and non-magical charms to seek justice and unmask the villain. Just a few weeks in the life of a simple single girl..." -- bestselling author Patricia Rice
Once again Swendson gives her readers a hilarious and delightful romp through the world of magic with a dash of romance thrown in to titillate and make us laugh. -- Andrea Sisco, Armchair Interviews


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sex and YA

I'm curious about your response to this. The following is an article from Newsday on the new trend to up the sexual content in YA - specifically targeted at girls. I think it's a destructive trend and to discount is as harmless and just entertainment is very shortsighted. I'm interested in this not just because I'm a thinking woman who has opinions of her own, and because I've taught teenagers for fifteen years and I hate seeing this teenage generation's outward attitude of "hey, it's just a blow job," and then watch the silent desperation of girls who let themselves be exploited, but also because I'm the mother of a 19 year old, and author of a YA series. And, yes, the sexual content of my series has been a point of dissention between my editor and me. Here's the article:

Sex and the Teenage Girl
What goes on between the covers is now what goes on between the covers of new fiction aimed at young adults
BY TANIA PADGETTNewsday Staff WriterApril 4, 2006

She had the type of body that looked even better naked than in clothes. Soft without being fat, and more delicate than her usual costumes of preppy, neatly creased jeans and cashmere cardigans or short, tight little black dresses let on. She was still a pain in his ass, but they'd been in and out of love pretty much since they were 11 years old and he wanted to get naked with her for even longer.
Sound like a passage from a sex-soaked Danielle Steel novel? It isn't. And the audience isn't the typical adult female romance reader.This book, "Nobody Does It Better" (Little Brown, $9.99), is aimed at girls, ages 14 to 18. It's the latest (2005) in the bestselling "Gossip Girl" series by Cecily von Ziegesar.And that was just page one.Young-adult fiction has come a long way from Nancy Drew, the 16-year-old sleuth whose most intimate encounter with a guy was probably a batting of eyelashes at boyfriend Ned Nickerson.But today's teenage fiction, with its slick covers, eye-riveting blurbs and steamy plots, is exploding off bookstore shelves, fattening anemic publishers' profits and attracting millions of television-worshiping teens. The market has become so lucrative that non-book publishing companies, like MTV, are elbowing into the increasingly crowded niche.But the books' popularity has also given rise to a small chorus of detractors who worry that the content is too racy. In many of the books, teens have sex, do drugs, use profanity, and plot and scheme against each other with glinting treachery.

Naomi Wolf, whose feminist work, "The Beauty Myth," launched her to fame, argued in an essay for the Sunday New York Times last month that today's books for teens "package corruption with a cute overlay."

"The problem is a value system in which meanness rules, parents check out, conformity is everything and stressed-out adult values are presumed to be meaningful to teenagers," she wrote.

In the past year alone, the biggest sellers in the young-adult market have been series, including "Gossip Girl," "The Clique" by Lisi Harrison and "The A-List" by Zoey Dean. And sales are showing no signs of slowing down. Plots are fast-moving and dramatic, but also formulaic: party-hopping girls with runway-model looks, who often leave skid marks racing from one reckless rich and famous adventure to another.Many girls, some as young as 13, gobble these books up, vaulting titles to the top of The New York Times bestseller list and emboldening publishers to start developing movies or television series from their content. Meanwhile, producers of popular teen TV shows, such as Fox's "The OC" and MTV's "Laguna Beach," plan to roll out books based on those series as they try to capitalize on this literary bonanza.

"Books are catching up with the rest of entertainment and becoming much more attractive to the young teen audience," said Leslie Morgenstein, president of Alloy Entertainment in Manhattan, which developed the "Gossip Girl" books. "And the content is no worse than what girls are already seeing on television."

A potent brew. Brisk sales of these books are not surprising. Mix a recipe of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, or hip-hop, and you've created a potent brew that is sure to at least pique teenage interest.It wasn't that long ago when the young-adult fiction market was much like the geeky girl or guy at the high-school dance: around but largely ignored. Ten years ago, the classics, fantasy books and innocuous series such as "Sweet Valley High" dominated sales. But demand for teen books with more adult themes began to coincide with the advent of edgier content on cable television and the boomlet in U.S. teenagers.Between 1990 and 2000, the number of youths between ages 12 and 19 climbed to 32.4 million in the United States, an increase of 4.5 million, according to a survey by Media Mark Research last year using U.S. Census data.That increase also brought a tidal wave of teenager spending income (about $115 million in 2003), which was not lost on the book industry. From 1995 to 2004, book sales in the young-adult market surged 86.9 percent to $444.4 million, according to statistics compiled by Albert Greco, a marketing professor at Fordham University in the Bronx.Joe Monti, a book buyer at Barnes & Noble, said the release in the late 1990s of "Smack," by Melvin Burgess, about British teens on heroin, and "Holes," by Louis Sachar, about a teen sent to summer detention camp, helped change the face of the young-adult market.

"Unlike other books, these tackled tough issues that teenagers face," Monti said. "The sales were incredible." During a recent visit to the B. Dalton Booksellers store in Roosevelt Field, a group of Division Avenue High School students from Levittown were found eyeing the young-adult selections. Katie Duggan, 17; Danielle Yarsinske, 18; Diana Hajjar, 18, and Allison O'Rourke, 17, acknowledged that many of the books are "mindless entertainment," but that hasn't stopped them from snapping up the latest popular titles."I've read all the ['Gossip Girl'] books," said Duggan, a senior. "The characters are rich and live such dramatic lives. And their parents never tell them anything. I sometimes wish my parents were like that."

Hajjar said, "It's like 'Sex and the City' for teens."

"I wasn't a big reader before," Yarsinske added. "But I really enjoy the books."

O'Rourke, who would prefer burying her nose in Shakespeare and other classics, said she doesn't have "a problem with teens reading them."Nor do a handful of parents and librarians who specialize in young-adult fiction and agreed to talk to Newsday. The adult content in these books does not wreck teenagers values, said Barbara Paulinski at Floral Park Memorial High in Floral Park. "I'd like to think [the books] present a teaching moment for parents," she said. Besides "I don't think you get your basic core values from what you read or what you hear. You get them from your home."

"I don't think many of the young adult books are done irresponsibly," said Teri Germano, a librarian at Masters Moriches Shirley Library, in Shirley. "Many are done with reason and sensitivity."That, of course, has only whetted publishers' appetite. But their stampede to snap up young-adult dollars and market share did yield at least one public major misstep. Simon & Schuster's release last year of "Rainbow Party," an unflinching tale by Paul Ruditis of teen oral sex, sparked heated discussion and a slew of newspaper articles about the salacious nature of teen literature. The novel's front cover boasted a photo of opened colored lipsticks; its back cover was filled with provocative blurbs. Many stores refused to stock the title and the much-promised sales never materialized.Barnes & Noble's Monti said he chose not to stock "Rainbow Party" because it was competing with other young-adult fiction that was better written.Bethany Buck, vice president and editorial director of the division that published "Rainbow Party," said the dustup created by the book was "because adults don't want to believe that teens are having sex." She said the company plans to continue publishing books aimed at teens.Morgenstein, of Alloy Entertainment, described the "Rainbow Party" failure as more of an aberration than a controversy. "This company is in the business of creating mass entertainment," Morgenstein said. "At the end of the day, the market draws a line at what is too edgy."Alloy has been at the helm of bestselling teen fiction, he said, helping to produce 40 books last year, 17 of which were national bestsellers, including "The A-List" and "The Clique."TV and movie projectsMorgenstein said the company is in talks with Warner Bros., The WB and Universal to develop "Gossip Girl"; "The Au Pairs," another bestselling series by Melissa de La Cruz, and "The A-List" into television and movie projects.MTV has announced plans to follow suit. Louise Burke, the young-adult book president for the music video network, said it plans to release this month the first installment of four different book series.The books are colorful, well written and move with the same breathtaking pace as an MTV video. "'Gossip Girl' set the bar," Burke said, "but nobody knows teenagers better than MTV. We're planning to take the market down."And that, according to the detractors, is the exact direction where teenage values are heading. Wolf, the author, said she believes pornography is surreptitiously being slipped into the milieu of teens without their parents' knowledge.As a result, "young girls are becoming numb to the sexual experience," said Wolf, who suggested putting rating labels on the books. "They do it with movies. I don't see why they can't do it with books."
Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.