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Peanut Butter and Cat Burglars @CarinaPress #Romance

The Benefits of Peanut Butter by Shelley Munro

Most people think of peanut butter as a sandwich spread or maybe an ingredient in cookies. I like peanut butter on toast. My husband loathes the stuff and refuses to eat it. Peanut butter, according to him, is only fit as an ingredient for Bella’s dog biscuits. Our puppy Bella certainly doesn’t make any protests about the peanut butter.

Cat Burglar in TrainingWhile I was going through the editing stage of my contemporary mystery romance Cat Burglar in Training, I came upon a comment from my wonderful editor, Deborah Nemeth. She wrote, “Why didn’t anyone hear Eve (our cat burglar) break the window when she entered the building?”

“Heck,” I muttered. “How should I know?”

I continued with my edits, filing the problem away to mull over while I walked the dog. I returned from walking the dog none the wiser. Did Eve risk being heard and simply break the window, or did she open it with some handy-dandy tool from her cat burglar tool kit?

Eve is new to the job of cat burglar, taking over from her father who is unable to scale trees and walls because of his arthritis. She knows the basics but is definitely still finding her feet.

Yikes! How on earth is she going to enter the building? How am I going to fix this?

In the end I googled, and surprisingly, there was an answer.

Peanut butter! Who knew?

Here’s a brief excerpt from Cat Burglar in Training, showing how Eve managed to beat the problem without alerting the owners.

I scaled the wall in no time, stubbornly ignoring the pain in my arse. A ledge, a few inches wide, provided a place for me to collect myself. With a deep breath, I pulled a spoon and a jar of smooth peanut butter from my pack and plastered a thick layer on the window pane. Next, I retrieved a tube of cardboard cut to size—well, a fairly accurate guesstimate—and carefully pressed the cardboard to the peanut butter. A sharp tap with my hammer cracked the glass, but the sound was minimal. I replaced my tools in my pack, placed the glass-covered cardboard aside and reached through to open the lock. My entry via the nursery room window was clean and professional.

There you go. Problem solved. That’s how to enter a building without alerting the inhabitants.

What is your favorite use for peanut butter? Do you like it, or are you like my husband and avoid it at all costs?

Cat Burglar in Training is currently available for 99c at some retailers.

Purchase at: Carina Press| Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Nook| Koboicon| iBooks US|

Real Life Cat Burglars

A cat burglar is a thief who breaks into homes to steal personal property. They take their name from real life cats since cats are stealthy, quiet creatures that approach their prey without causing alarm.

The human variety of cat burglar slips inside unnoticed, taking what he wants and disappearing again before the victim notices a theft has occurred. Essentially, a cat burglar breaks and enters. It’s against the law yet cat burglars have appeared in some of my favorite romance stories and movies.

Today I thought I’d tell you about two real-life cat burglars.

Estate agent, Bill Mason plundered more than $70 million worth of jewels over three decades. According to him there was no thrill quite so big as hanging from a parapet 200 feet above the ground while a hoard of diamonds and gold was only a few feet away, his for the taking, if he could hold his nerve.

He was attractive, charismatic and debonair with old-age mystique and very good at his job, never once resorting to violence. He lived a double life for twenty-five years, married to his childhood sweetheart, Barbara. He drove his three kids to school and sports matches, invited the neighbors over for barbeques and worked in his legitimate property business. At night, he robbed the rich, sinking the funds from his heists into real estate and investments. His wife had no idea and assumed his money came from hard work and judicious borrowing. He always had a good excuse for his night time absences.

According to Mason, he had a good head for heights and worked to maintain strong hands because a thief needs to find one way to get inside that no one expects and that means climbing.

The FBI finally caught up with him and he did a stint in prison. You can read his story in Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief

The second cat burglar is of the feline variety. Frankie, a two-year-old cat has stolen 35 plush toys during the last year. He skulks into houses, steals their small stuffed animals and takes his ill-gotten gains home, sneaking them through his cat flap. His owner, Julie Bishop, says, “He doesn’t really play with them. He dumps them in the same spot at home and goes looking for more.”

Frankie has collected stuffed teddy bears, a giant squeaky hamburger but favors a small leopard toy. He has more than a dozen of the same spotted leopard toy. Here’s a link to the story plus a photo of Frankie with some of his stolen loot. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2008/12/10/2008-12-10_reallife_cat_burglar_stealing_kitty_toys.html

Because I’ve enjoyed reading cat burglar romances in the past, I decided to write my own. Let me introduce Cat Burglar in Training.

Cat Burglar in Training

Here is the blurb:

Eve Fawkner had no intention of following in her father’s footsteps. But when the thugs harassing him to repay his gambling debts threaten her young daughter, Eve is forced to assume the role of London’s most notorious cat burglar, The Shadow. The plan is simple: pull off a couple of heists, pay back the goons and go into permanent retirement. But things get messy during her first job when Eve witnesses a murder, stumbles across a clue that sheds some light on her past and, worst of all, falls for a cop.

Inspector Kahu Williams would be the perfect man, if Eve were looking, and if there wasn’t the little matter of their career conflict. The man is seriously hot—and hot on the trail of a murderer. A trail that keeps leading him back to Eve…

Grab your copy at: Carina Press| Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble| Koboicon|iBooks US| iBooks NZ

The One Where Rosalind Snatches a Kiss

My-Sexy-Saturday-1024x226

Welcome to My Sexy Saturday, a fun blog hop. Here are the details: every Saturday, published and unpublished authors will be sharing 7 words, sentences, or paragraphs from a work-in-progress or an already published story.

My snippet this week comes from The Spurned Viscountess, a historical romance. Rosalind has an arranged marriage with Lucien, Viscount Hastings, and unfortunately Lucien isn’t interested in her. Rosalind is determined to grab security and have babies, so she isn’t going easy on poor Lucien. Something weird is happening at the castle and Rosalind is investigating. Lucien just happens to get in her way and she seizes the chance to further her cause. Just quietly, he doesn’t stand a chance!

MY SEXY SATURDAY:

Rosalind screwed up her face in a frown as she heard Hastings whistle to Oberon through the door. The black whickered softly in return. What was she going to say? What was she going to do? She imagined Hastings standing on the other side of the door. Excitement shot through her veins, despite her predicament.

The hinge creaked when the door opened. Rosalind watched with a combination of trepidation and anticipation. The gap widened to reveal Hastings’s shiny black boots, his mud-splattered stockings and breeches. Her eyes rose to his gray shirt and black jacket. Her mouth dried, her pulse pounding with expectancy, excitement. She swallowed and lifted her gaze to loose black hair and his…mouth. Finally, she met his astonished eyes.

Speak, she thought frantically. Quick before he asks what you are doing here. Distract. Attack. Something. Anything.

“You’re back,” she cried and planted a kiss on his beguiling lips.

He tensed. In shock or astonishment, Rosalind wasn’t sure but ceased to care. His lips were as soft as a baby’s skin. Her hands curled into his shoulders and she leaned into him, enjoying the play of hard muscles and the earthy masculine scent of him.

“What are you doing?” he demanded finally, pulling away enough to glare at her.

“I’m pleased to see you.” A stupid half-wit would sense his bewilderment. But along with confusion lay shocked enjoyment. And that, decided Rosalind, was a good thing.

TheSpurnedViscountess_200x300

BLURB:

Cursed with the sight and rumors of witchcraft, Rosalind’s only chance at an ordinary life is marriage to Lucien, Viscount Hastings. She doesn’t expect love, only security and children of her own. Determined to go through with the wedding, she allows nothing she encounters at the gloomy Castle St. Clare to dissuade her.

Recently returned from the Continent, Lucien has no time for the English mouse his family has arranged for him to marry–not when he’s plotting to avenge the murder of his beloved Francesca. He has no intention of bedding Rosalind, not even to sire an heir.

Though spurned by her bridegroom, Rosalind turns to him for protection when she is plagued by mysterious accidents and haunted by terrifying visions. Forced to keep Rosalind close–and tempted into passionate kisses–Lucien soon finds himself in danger of falling in love with his own wife…

Purchase The Spurned Viscountess

To read more Sexy Saturday posts, check out the links at My Sexy Saturday

Enticing The Spymaster by Julie Rowe

Today I’m thrilled to host Julie Rowe with her new release Enticing the Spymaster. A blend of historical and medical romance, Enticing the Spymaster is book two in Ms. Rowe’s War Girls series. The perfect read for historical romance lovers who want a change from Regency set romances!

 

Enticing the Spymaster Button RDB

Enticing the SpymasterEnticing the Spymaster
War Girls, Book Two

Julie Rowe

Genre: Historical romance, medical romance

Publisher: Carina Press

Date of Publication: June 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-14268-9556-2

ASIN: B00BZPJSV6

Number of pages: 153

Word Count: 34,000

Cover Artist: Millennium Promotions, Inc.

Amazon | Amazon Canada | B & N: http://bit.ly/ZxH4sL |

iTunes: http://bit.ly/XNVg2s

Book Description:

German-occupied Brussels, Belgium, April 1915

Judith Goddard is hiding in plain sight. A dual citizen with family ties to Belgian royalty and the British military, she works as a Red Cross nurse in a German hospital, learning what she can, ever fearful her true allegiance will be discovered.

British Expeditionary Force Captain Michael Lawrence is on a mission to rescue the daughter of his mentor. He doesn’t expect to find a strong beautiful woman in place of the naïve girl whose love he rejected years earlier.

Jude is shocked when Michael turns up in her hospital, wounded and in German uniform. Though he broke her heart, she agrees to flee Belgium with him—she has information about an imminent attack that she must deliver to the British War Office, before it’s too late.

Posing as a married couple, Jude and Michael journey to the border, in constant danger of discovery—and of giving in to their mutual passion…

clip_image004About the Author:

Julie Rowe’s first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details in her romance novels, but admits she’ll never be able to write about all her medical experiences because, “No one would believe them!”. In addition to writing contemporary and historical medical romance, and fun romantic suspense for Entangled Publishing and Carina Press, Julie has a short story in the Mammoth Book of Medical Romance.

Her book SAVING THE RIFLEMAN (WAR GIRLS) won the novella category of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Her writing has also appeared in several magazines such as Today’s Parent, Reader’s Digest (Canada), and Canadian Living.

You can reach her at www.julieroweauthor.com , on Twitter @julieroweauthor or at her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/JulieRoweAuthor

Website: www.julieroweauthor.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JulieRoweAuthor

Twitter: @julieroweauthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/julieroweauthor/character-inspiration/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5272597.Julie_Rowe

A Day in the Life of Eve Fawkner, Cat Burglar in Training

Cat Burglar in Training

Today I’m visiting Romancing the Book where Eve Fawkner, my heroine from Cat Burglar in Training is running the show. There’s also a copy of Cat Burglar in Training up for grabs by one commenter. Here’s the link to Romancing the Book.

A Random Post About T-shirts

As I sit here writing this post, I’m wearing a T-shirt (purchased at Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump in Canada) and shorts. My favorite summer outfit. When the days grow shorter and the temperatures become cooler, my uniform changes to a T-shirt and jeans. I love T-shirts. Read more at the Carina Press blog.

London: Haunt of a Cat Burglar in Training

London. It’s a place I dreamed of visiting after hearing the poem about Christopher Robin and Alice as a child. Do you know the one I mean? Here’s the first verse:

Buckingham Palace
by A.A. Milne

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
Alice is marrying one of the guard.
"A soldier’s life is terribly hard,"
Says Alice.

Luckily I was able to persuade my husband that London was a good idea, and off we went on our overseas experience. Fast forward many years, and it was inevitable that some of my experience would find its way into my writing.

Today is the release date for Cat Burglar in Training, which is partially set in London. Eve Fawkner, my trainee cat burglar attends balls in various London locations and her receiver lives in Kensington, an area I’m familiar with since we lived there for several years.

Here are a few photos from the Kensington/Knightsbridge area. These are places Eve sees or drives past on a regular basis. (Scroll over the photos for info or click on them to enlarge.)

BTW – London was everything I dreamed it would be!

Harrods, Knightsbridge, London at night Kensington Gardens, London

Kensington Palace after a snow fall, London Albert Memorial, Kensington near Royal Albert Hall

The Goat Tavern, Kensington, London.  Horseguards, Rotten Row, London


CatBurglar_SM

Here’s the blurb:

Eve Fawkner had no intention of following in her father’s footsteps. But when the thugs harassing him to repay his gambling debts threaten her young daughter, Eve is forced to assume the role of London’s most notorious cat burglar, The Shadow. The plan is simple: pull off a couple of heists, pay back the goons and go into permanent retirement. But things get messy during her first job when Eve witnesses a murder, stumbles across a clue that sheds some light on her past and, worst of all, falls for a cop.

Inspector Kahu Williams would be the perfect man, if Eve were looking, and if there wasn’t the little matter of their career conflict. The man is seriously hot—and hot on the trail of a murderer. A trail that keeps leading him back to Eve…

Purchase today from Carina Press

Is there a place you dreamed of visiting as a child?

Four Rules For The Socialized Writer

My guest today is Carina Press author, Cathy Pegau. Cathy has both a new release and a cute new puppy. On the surface these two things might not have any thing in common, but read on and you might change your mind. Welcome, Cathy!

We recently adopted a six month old puppy. For a young dog, she is surprisingly well behaved and gets along with all of us. Including the cats. Dally is great, but she still needs to learn some social skills. It’s our job to make her an acceptable member of society and make interactions much more pleasant. There are certain rules to be followed, behaviors that are acceptable and those that are frowned upon. These same skills we teach our pup, I realized, can be applied to the social networking writer. So, sit. Stay. Read on.

Dally

1) Don’t bark at everything that moves.

A pup will sometimes bark at a dust bunny or the wind blowing. That gets old real fast. As an opinionated writer, I’ve learned which topics on blogs, loops and social media merit a response from me. Mostly not a lot. Consider just eavesdropping versus adding your opinion. Yes, we all know that if it’s out there you have every right to comment. But should you? Yes, getting your name out there and recognized is important, but have something to contribute. Don’t just bark for the sake of barking.

2) Wag your tail and make friends, but don’t jump on folks or slobber over them.

Puppies tend to love everyone they meet, and many people love them right back. But excessive exuberance overwhelms. I’ve told a favorite author I admire their work. It’s appreciated, but I leave it at that. Reply to their comments/posts (without gushing), but don’t follow them everywhere they go or delve into their personal lives. Stalkerish behavior creeps folks out.
The flipside of that is…

3) Don’t snap at people.

A dog, or a writer, that constantly snarls or snaps is not one folks want to be around. People will eventually stop coming near you, your blog, and your books. When you’re out and about on Twitter or loops or wherever, be respectful. Disagreement is fine, but rabid behavior can be dangerous—to your career.

4) Don’t poop in the house.

The writers’ groups, critique partners and professionals who offer advice or a helping hand (i.e.: your family) should be providing a clean, healthy environment from which you can be nurtured and grow into a strong individual. They’ve seen you through long bouts of rejections and self-doubt. Once you’ve come into your own, respect them and the “home” they made for you. Every so often, we need to go back home to recoup with the people who know us best. Don’t mess that up.

Any other advice for raising a socialized writer?

Rulebreaker, Cathy’s debut f/f science fiction romance, is out from Carina Press now.

Rulebreaker

Here’s the blurb:

Liv Braxton’s Felon Rule #1: Don’t get emotionally involved.

Smash-and-grab thieving doesn’t lend itself to getting chummy with the victims, and Liv hasn’t met anyone on the mining colony of Nevarro worth knowing, anyway. So it’s easy to follow her Rules.

Until her ex, Tonio, shows up with an invitation to join him on the job of a lifetime.

Until Zia Talbot, the woman she’s supposed to deceive, turns Liv’s expectations upside down in a way no woman ever has.

Until corporate secrets turn deadly.

But to make things work with Zia, Liv has to do more than break her Rules, and the stakes are higher than just a broken heart…

And a short excerpt:

As the elevator door closed, the door in front of me opened. Zia held a goblet of wine in one hand. The V-neck of her white lounging pajamas revealed the glint of a gold chain and less cleavage than most of her office attire. Her feet were bare, her toenails tinted blood-red. But what captured my attention was her hair. Released from its usual upsweep, it fell around her shoulders in loose chestnut waves. Relaxed. Sexy.
I swallowed hard and dug my fingernails into my palms.

“Hello, Liv.” An enigmatic smile curved her full mouth, and her eyes glinted with curiosity. “I’d ask how you knew where I lived, but you’re very good at figuring out things like that, aren’t you?”

I took a hesitant step forward. She hadn’t asked me in. Maybe she wouldn’t. Maybe she’d tell me it was too soon for us to be alone in her flat, that this wasn’t how she did things.

“Would you like to come in?” she asked.

My knees wobbled with relief and with the apprehension of what I was doing. “Yes. Thank you.”
Zia stepped back, giving me just enough space to ease past her. In my boots, I was several centis taller than she was, and this close I could smell her hair. Flowers and honey.

The white of the entry continued inside the flat, but it was by no means stark. Soft lighting accented the greens, black and gold in the furnishings, artwork and décor. The faint scent of jasmine made the room hers.
Zia closed the door, and I felt rather than heard her come up behind me. “Let me take your coat.”

I set the satchel down, out of the way, and unbelted my coat. Slowly I slid it off my shoulders, past my bare back.

As she lifted it from my hands she took in a sharp breath. “Oh, Liv.” Her voice was rich with desire. “What are you doing to me?”

Pick up Rulebreaker at Carina Press or Barnes & Noble

Thanks for having me, Shelley!

My Evil Scheme by Tia Nevitt

My special guest today is fellow Carina Press author, Tia Nevitt. Not even a stint in the military as an aircraft mechanic could erase Tia Nevitt’s love of fairy tales. To this day, she loves to read (and write) books that take her to another place, or another time, or both. Tia has also worked on an assembly line, as a computer programmer, a technical writer and a business analyst. When she’s not writing, she keeps a book blog called Debuts & Reviews, where she focuses on debut novels. She lives in the southeast with her husband and daughter.

Today she’s letting us in on a secret—her evil scheme. Welcome, Tia!

Tia NevittHi everyone, and thank you, Shelley, for hosting me at your blog. Today, Shelley suggested that I write about book reviewing. So I decided to write about how I got started.

It was early 2007. I had a writing blog with a tiny handful of followers. I was an active participant of Absolute Write. I was querying my second novel, and wishing I had something besides my somewhat embarrassing nonfiction sales to put in my bio.

Fiction sales were hard to come by. I had been writing for roughly twenty years, with some lengthy intrusions of life. It didn’t help that I was very picky about where I would submit my work. I was a submission snob. If I couldn’t be published by a respectable publisher, by gum, I wouldn’t be published at all! It might not make much sense to you, but it did—and still does—to me. So I only submitted to pro and tough semipro markets. And I got rejected. A lot.

So I stumbled across this “Debut a Debut” blog event sponsored, in part, by blog buddy Susan Helene Gottfried. It kindled an idea to start a book blog devoted entirely to debut fantasy and science fiction novels. I figured it would be a good way to network with up-and-coming authors.

But I didn’t do anything right away. A few months passed. And then, on agent Kristen Nelson’s blog, I discovered a debut novel that looked like a lot of fun – Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin. Right then and there, I decided to start the blog featuring that novel, where I would review the book as I read it.

Lisa made it a lot of fun because she kept popping in. I was hooked.

And it did turn out to be a good way of networking with up-and-coming authors. I even made a few friends. But also, I was building an audience, very slowly. By the time I submitted to Carina Press, I had over 300 Feedburner subscribers at my Debuts & Reviews blog. I don’t know if it helped, but I do know that it could not have hurt. Today I have about 10,000 monthly visitors, with around 400 regular subscribers visiting about 8000 times, and traffic from referring sites and search engines providing the rest.

As a blogger, I watch my subscriber numbers much more closely than the number of clicks or visits. I have my FeedBurner subscriber numbers displayed on my site, and I don’t care whether you visit my site or read the posts through a feed reader. I’m just glad you read them! For that reason, I always publish my full feed instead of a teaser.

And for that matter, I don’t care if you use Feedburner or Google FriendConnect—so I track both. FriendConnect is nice because you can actually put a face to a number, but I find everything else about it clunky.

I still love blogging. Since I moved to Debuts & Reviews, I have expanded my focus to all my favorite genres, which includes fantasy, science fiction, mystery, historical, literary, Christian or any combination of the above. I’m picky about the publishers whose work I feature, just as I was picky about the publishers I would submit to. And, I’m not crazy about taking review copies, because I really have to work on my own schedule.

So there you have it—my evil scheme for getting published. My master plan. And along the way, I’ve had a lot of fun.

You can visit Tia at her website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

The Sevenfold Spell

Have you ever wondered what happens to the other people in the fairy tale?

Things look grim for Talia and her mother. By royal proclamation, the constables and those annoying “good” fairies have taken away their livelihood by confiscating their spinning wheel. Something to do with a curse on the princess, they said.

Not every young lady has a fairy godmother rushing to her rescue.

Without the promise of an income from spinning, Talia’s prospects for marriage disappear, and she and her mother face destitution. Past caring about breaking an arbitrary and cruel law, rebellious Talia determines to build a new spinning wheel, the only one in the nation, which plays right into the evil fairy’s diabolical plan. Talia discovers that finding a happy ending requires sacrifice. But is it a sacrifice she’s willing to make?

Purchase The Sevenfold Spell

I’ve Got Nothing…

I’m blogging at Access Romance today and talking about blogging. What topics do you like to read about when you’re blog hopping?

Seriously, I’d like to know. Comment here or at Access Romance. (You get the pretty pictures at Access Romance)