Friday, April 10, 2015

My RT Convention Workshops

Hey y'all,

The Romantic Times Booklovers convention is nearly a month away! Who's going to Dallas with me? It's always a blast catching up with old friends, meeting tons of new writers and readers, and my fav....scoping out the hot cover models. ***happy sigh****

This year I'm honored to be presenting two workshops. This first is "Brand New You". It's a marketing workshop with my Seymour agency sibs Jennifer Fusco and Sparrow Beckett. Jen wrote MARKET OR DIE and has an article in the March issue of Romance Writer's Report. Here's the link in case you missed it.

The other workshop is "Pitch Perfect" with some serious star power. (Not me! LOL). YA author Brenda Drake, Agent Louise Fury and Entangled Publishing CEO Liz Pelletier. Geez, I'm nervous just thinking about sitting at that table! I'll be discussing loglines. 

How do you come up with a good, exciting logline? Got one you'd like to share?

The most important thing I can say about pitching is show enthusiasm! Editor Chris Keeslar says the purpose of the pitch is not to the e/a to ask for it. They are most likely going to do that anyway if you made the effort to attend a conference and it’s remotely marketable. The purpose is to get them excited about reading the book so it doesn’t sit on their desk. You want it to be the first story they get to."
I also want to invite all the RT attendees to the Annual Shooting Stars Gala hosted by The Seymour Agency who represents me and another fellow NAC chick Ashlynn Chase.  Hope to see you there!                               
                                                                                                           Southern Smiles,
                                                                                                                Casey Crow

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Civil War Re-enactors -- wanna be a soldier or a lady?

Photo Credit:
Two Ladies Civil War Reenactors
© Larry Metayer |

Imagine it's 1862 and your husband is off to fight and you want to be near him...or your ma is alone with a family to job available to worked as schoolteachers and nurses had to be over thirty and plain.

But you're pretty good with a rifle, in fact, you're damned good.

So why not be a soldier?

More than 400 women (estimates range as high as 750) answered the call to arms during the War Between the States. They fought and died as soldiers...

I always wanted to explore what it was like for these women...but through the eyes of a modern day woman who travels back in time to the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862 dressed as a Confederate officer. (I'm doing a final read-through on my manuscript as I write...)

In the photo above, you see two modern day female re-enactors -- one dressed as a soldier and one dressed in petticoats.

If you were going back in time to the Civil War, which would you rather be?

A soldier?

Or a lady?


Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Accidental Nudist by Guest Blogger Carlene Love Flores

“Sometimes in life, we go hiking, and end up at a secluded nude beach. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Also, don’t wear flip flops when you’re accidentally hiking down mountains to nude beaches.”  ~Carlene Love Flores

     Hi everyone. Quick show of hands (tell me in the comments pretty please if you feel inclined to share), who out there has been to a nude beach? Okay, now who hasn’t, but would give in to the curiosity and visit one? And who feels this just isn’t their cup of tea and prefers not to get all that sand in their lady parts?
     Well, I’ll tell ya, I’m about five months into being forty years old. Around the time of my b-day, a girlfriend of mine turned fifty and had taken a pledge to do something new each week for one year to commemorate the occasion. I admired her so much that I decided I was going to steal the idea but decided I would celebrate by doing a brand new thing once a week for the rest of my life. Somewhat lofty, but I started out on fire!
     I did things like ride in a helicopter over the Hoover Dam and go to my first male revue show at the invite of my mom. (She chose Chippendales. It was fun and I blushed and sat with my hands over my mouth the whole time.) I let go of fear for what others would think and wrote my first super erotic heat level romance. I was on a roll for a good two months but then I admittedly petered out on the big, grand stuff and realized the rest of my life could quite possibly go on for a long time. (Fist bump for a long, happy life, right?) So I slowed down in an effort not to run out of things to experience, a little too much though. It was just that as a full-time writer and stay-at-home mom, I didn’t get out a whole lot. I had sexy, grand adventures alright, but from the confines of my imaginative little head.
     When I moved back to San Diego after twenty years of being gone, one of the first things I thought about was the beach and how lucky I was to live in this place where all I had to do was hop in the car and drive the twenty miles to the ocean. I vowed not to take it for granted. Except for that’s exactly what I did at first.
     And then this February, I had an enlightening experience that reminded me, “Hey, blondie. Whaddaya thinkin’? You think you got forever? No one’s got forever, babe. Life is short. Don’t wait.” My subconscious was right, if not slightly in your face and Tony Soprano-esque.
     What was I thinking sitting around wasting precious time?
     So long story short, I now go to the beach as often as possible. I go there to think, or not think and just be. To walk. To swim at sunset. To watch and be inspired. I haven’t found a more peaceful place. It’s as easy to lose yourself there as it is to find yourself. I do both frequently. Any other ocean lovers out there?
     One of the things I love most is how comfortable everyone is in their own skin. I didn’t used to feel that way, but thanks to that February reminder, I do now too.
And then this past weekend happened. I was standing on a cliff, looking out at the gorgeous, endless view of the ocean when I saw people in their swimsuits hiking down a trail. I wasn’t dressed for the water or hiking. I was dressed for cliff-top gazing. But the trail and the people in their flip flops and a quiet inner chant of “Be Here Now” called me. So off I went.
     It was steep, and unsteady, and my shoes preferred to slide over the sandy rocks rather than stick like I wanted them to. But I made it! When I finally arrived at the shore, I realized where I was. This was Black’s Beach, San Diego’s secluded nude beach I’d heard of my whole life but never visited. I was prepared to be incredibly uncomfortable.
     I was not and I know that’s because of February.
I had a curious look around, admired the cute couples of all ages walking hand in hand and the adorableness of their bare cheeks from behind, and decided I’d like to go back some day. Although I have to find a better way to get there! For now, that route exists in the sexy story I’m currently working on called Let Me See (These Three Words, 2) about a practical jokester and dancer who discovers the hard way why his lady is so hesitant to let him see her naked.
     Next on my “Be Here Now” list is to swim in the ocean at night.
     What’s on yours? I’d love to hear it! Thanks for having me here today!

Always love,
Carlene Love
Wicked Flower (A Sin Pointe Novel, Vol 5)
by Carlene Love Flores

Sin Pointe front man Stefan Calderon is playing a very dangerous game and his mom’s live-in caretaker, Dani Foster, just landed right smack in the middle of it. Practically strangers when Stefan rolls into his small hometown looking to patch things up with Mom, his and Dani’s worlds collide with a hot and intense hook up. He knows right away this woman will make the perfect partner for his two weeks in town. But when she realizes whose son he is, and what he’s there to do, sexy times come to an abrupt halt. That is until they come up with a solution. Rules. Every game needs them. The question isn’t if they’ll break them, but when and how hard. It’s a wickedly delicious game, one neither of them intends to lose.

Carlene Love Flores is a big fan of the stars (especially Orion), clever music (especially Depeche Mode), and the ocean (especially at sunset). These things inspire her intimate style of romance writing. She feels honored to be a member of Washington DC Romance Writers (WRWDC)RWA San Diego (RWASD), and the Waterworld Mermaids. Carlene currently lives in the San Diego area where she can often be found listening to live music and looking up at the sky on clear nights. If she could touch someone’s heart with her writing the way others have done for her, she’d say truly there never lived a luckier girl.   
Carlene would love to hear from you, find her here:

Friday, March 13, 2015

Dance with a Millionaire Anniversary

 DANCE WITH A MILLIONAIRE is celebrating its anniversary! Here's an excerpt!

Southern belle Campbell Layne is the rising star of the Manhattan Ballet Theatre, providing she lands an upcoming principal role. The stage heats up, however, when Rod Carrington steps in and teaches her more than she ever expected!

Determined as she is to stay focused on the audition that will push her into stardom, dazzling attorney Rod Carrington still proves to be a major distraction especially when he ends up teaching the college class she’s taking in her spare time. Campbell humiliates herself on their first date, but that doesn’t stop Rod from whisking her off to Italy and turning her into quite the vixen. Too bad he also had to use his powerful influence to secure the lead for her. Now she’ll never know if her talent was real or “bought” by the man she thought was the love of her life.

“It leaps right off the pages and into your heart. I will remember and reread. I look forward to Ms. Crow’s storytelling in the future. I just love the sassy, Southern girl meets cool rich guy. This book is well worth the read.” My Erotic Reviews

Now for a mainstream excerpt:

“Thank you for attending the performance and for your generous donation to MBT.” His dark eyebrows shot up a notch, highlighting a definite mischievous twinkle in his eyes. Why did they have to be the exact shade of turquoise as the Caribbean Ocean at sunset? Stunning.

“That’s well-rehearsed, Miss Layne. Tell me, though, do you turn on the Southern belle charm for all your fans or only the male ones?”

Her mouth fell open, but thank goodness she had the presence of mind to snap it shut. “How dare you? First of all, I’m from Alabama which makes the accent genuine, and secondly, that’s…that’s the rudest, most ungentlemanly thing to say.”

“I never said I was a gentleman and readily admit to be undeserving of your sweet fa├žade. I’d much prefer the real you.”

She propped her hands on her hips. “And precisely what, may I ask, do you assume to be the real me, seeing as our acquaintance has a life span of what? Thirty seconds?”

Rod glanced at an expensive-looking gold watch. “Forty-five.” He stepped closer.

She did not see that coming and stumbled back only to become trapped between the wall and his body. The hard, cold stone competed against his warm, harder presence. Damn it, the latter won out.
She ground her traitorous fingertips into her palms in an effort to prevent them from brushing away the stray curl that fell across his forehead.

The hem of his jacket brushed her hip as he moved in to splay his hand over her waist. The pressure built as he gathered her an inch closer. She caught a faint whiff of his cologne. The clean, fresh scent permeated the air and reminded her of the Southern pines back home, but this was not the time to reminisce.

“In fact, I’d like to get to know every inch of you.” Another sharp tug had her chest pressed against his rock solid form.

Her blood boiled in a delicious rhythm. Obviously, the vibrator thing was getting old if this jerk was turning her on. She made a mental note to ask her best friend, Heidi, to set her up on a date. Any man would do—as long as it was not Rod.

She flexed her fingers and pushed against his shoulders. “Let go of me, you arrogant pig.” A lion, cougar, leopard—anything powerful—seemed a more apt description though.

Rod chuckled and loosened his hold. A fraction. Enough to insert his finger between them. It followed the line of fabric at her shoulder slowly, very slowly, across her chest. As he glided over her cleavage, he said, “But, my dear, you’re mistaken. It’s confidence I possess.”

“More like cockiness.” Even as she said it, Bella couldn’t take her gaze off his finger or steer her attention from the intense hunger  sweeping through her. She instinctively arched her back, lifting her breasts to silently beg for more.

“Either way, but I always get what I want, and in case you need me to spell it out”—he slid his finger up her throat to tilt her chin, forcing her to look at him—“I. Want. You.”


So obviously Rod jumps right on in there with Campbell. Is that how you like your man, or do you the slow and steady kind? I’d love to hear your stories.

DANCE WITH A MILLIONAIRE BUY NOW from Amazon or from Siren Publishing
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