I received two hunks of news on Monday, both totally unexpected, both sock-rockingly awesome.
Item One: apparently I have a new anthology!
I'll be attending the RWA National conference in Orlando in a couple weeks and I knew the lovely crew at Ellora's Cave was printing a bunch of paperback copies of Off Limits, an anthology of my first three erotic novellas for me to sign at the literacy book fair. I got an e-mail on Monday morning that I assumed was just a confirmation of the book fair copies, maybe instructions about picking them up at the conference, maybe a glimpse at the cover. Then I read the message and just about asploded with excitement. Not only do I get copies for the signing, but the paperbacks are for sale on the EC website! Wait, so…I have a print book out? Like, right now? Whoa! Frantic clicking ensued. Also, the cover is totally sextasticals. Anyhow, if anyone hasn't read any of my current releases, they're now available in one handy, beach-safe, paper package—and currently on sale for three dollars off. If you're interested, you can check it out here.
★ Actually, if you're interested in scoring a free copy, go ahead and say so in a comment and I'll choose someone to receive one (once I get my author copies). I'll pick someone on Sunday at 6pm EST and announce the winner in the comments. ★
Item Two: I am now a Harlequin author!
This news hunk arrived on Monday at 2:40pm (trust me, I made note of the exact time). Actually the first call came a few minutes before while I was washing dishes, unable to hear my phone. I got back to my desk and recognized the Toronto number in my missed calls log. I knew this number because I'd been living in worshipful fear of it ever since early June, when one of the editors from Harlequin Blaze called to request revisions on a romance I'd submitted to them over a year earlier. It's true what they say—you really do have to be patient in this business.
I'd subbed the story so long ago and received no response, and I'd gone on living in quiet disappointment, assuming they'd read it, puked, burned it, blacklisted me, and moved on. Apparently not. They liked it but needed to see some changes before they could decide if was a good fit for Blaze. For example, way less swearing. Oh, Cara, you and your adorable sailor's mouth. I managed to not faint while I spoke to the editor, said I'd be pleased as punch to hand over a kidney—I mean implement the revisions. I then went about heartily de-clunkifying that story (thankfully I learned a lot about writing in that year-long interim) and making their requested revisions. Two weeks later I resubbed it amid tearful prayers to my ambiguous and oft-neglected higher power.
So anyhow, flash forward to Monday. I finished the dishes, spotted the missed call, listened with shaking limbs to a friendly but uninformative message from my editor contact. I called her back. She did not answer. Her automated voicemail message made it sound as if she was gone for the second half of the day. NOOOO!!!! I could not have survived the not-knowing for another hour, let alone a whole day. Just as I was lamenting this predicament to my manfriend, my phone rang. I sprinted across the condo to hide in my office, and hit Talk. And would you believe it? They made an offer. I'm ecstatic, to say the least. Harlequin Blaze was the first publisher and line I actively courted when I started writing two years ago—I love writing explicit love scenes as well as shorter novels (Blaze stories are 55 to 60,000 words) so I'd always hoped my voice might be a good fit. Apparently it is.
I wish I had more details to share but the title, release date (likely 2012) and the name I'll be published under are all unfinalized. However, I can share the two-line hook that snagged me the invitation to submit the full manuscript in the first place:
A hotshot TV survival show host and his no-nonsense production assistant get stranded during a snowstorm. As they make their way back to civilization, she'll teach him a thing or two about staying warm in the woods, and the cameras will be rolling.
Well, that's it for now! If you're interested in scoring a copy of my brand-spanking-new Off Limits paperback anthology, please say so in a comment. Thanks for reading!