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Monday, August 21, 2017

Jewelry Sale!

From time to time, I put up a few pieces of my gemstone jewelry on Facebook--mostly just to show off what I've been working on, but also so my fans and friends can have a chance to buy a piece now and then. But I realized I haven't been sharing them here, so to make up for that, not only am I going to do a post with some of my jewelry in it, I'm going to put them on a special sale, available only here! (They're all currently at The Artisans' Guild at their full price, but if you happen to live local to me, let me know.)

Here are a few necklaces that I thought my peeps would like. The first person to claim a necklace in the comments gets it. We'll then arrange payment through Paypal (or a check, if necessary, although I will cash the check before I send the jewelry). Or I could do it through my mostly-defunct shop on Etsy, but then I'd have to add a couple of dollars to cover their fees. Shipping will be $6 in the US, and more elsewhere.

#1 Amber & Jet w/ Pewter Goddess 22" long, $85 on sale for $72

#2 Amber & Jet with Double Sterling Pentacle 22" long, $89, on sale for $72

#3 Double Strand w/ aventurine, amethyst, moonstone with crescent moon, 17" and 20", $69, sale $59

#4 Aventurine & glass crescent moon, 19 1/2 inches, $69, sale $59

#5 Book cat pendant w/ black onyx, riverstone, tiger's eye, 20", $69, on sale for $59

close up of the kitty!
 #6 Black cat pendant with amber & jet, 18", $79 on sale for $69

I only do these kinds of sales a couple of times a year, if that, so if you've been longing for a Deborah Blake original, speak now or, well, wait until the next time! If you do want one, be sure to comment here first to hold the necklace for you, and then contact me either via Facebook or email (magicmysticminerva at yahoo) to deal with the details.

Either way, feel free to say how pretty they are.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Book Research Taken to Extremes

I've done some strange research for my books in the past. For instance, when I wrote WICKEDLY WONDERFUL, I had to Google "locations of nuclear plants in California." For weeks I waited to see if the FBI was going to show up on my doorstep...

But this weekend I got a little more, um, hands on, with my research than usual. In the manuscript I'm working on right now, the protagonist--who knows nothing about farm animals--has to milk a goat. I had a pretty good idea of how it was done from looking at youtube videos and talking to a friend who used to have goats, but I wanted to make sure I got it right. (If you get info wrong in a book, I assure you, people will tell you about it later. Repeatedly.)

Luckily, one of the artists at The Artisans' Guild shop I run happens to be a nun who is in charge of the animals at the Holy Myrrbearers Monastery where she lives in nearby Otego, so she invited me to come milk one of her goats. My friend Ellen went along to watch, take pictures, and no doubt laugh quietly to herself.

It's not as easy as it looks.
 I had a great time, even if initially I got as much milk on my pants as I did in the bucket.

The goat was very patient with me.

Mother Katherine with another one of her charges

Where the milk ended up!
 There were three adorable little kittens in the barn that had been abandoned across the street not long before. (People do that in the country all the time, alas.) They were happy to clear away the milk I got out of poor Claire. The rest went to her kids, who took it directly from the source.

Lots of goats!

Ellen with her new friend Caliban
 Mother Katherine also tends to many sheep (whose wool is made into the yarn, scarves, and felted insoles she sells at the shop), chickens, and the working dogs who live there.

So tell me, what did you do with your Saturday? And if you're a writer, what is the strangest research you've ever done?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

RWA Report and Book Giveaway

I've been back from my trip to the RWA National Conference for a week and a half, but it has taken me this long to get around to reporting on it because A) as usual, I was exhausted when I came back and B) I've been really busy.

But here, at last, is a quick report on my trip.

It was good.

Oh, sorry, you wanted a little more detail? I got in Wednesday late morning, checked in, and caught up with my roommate, the fabulous Maria V. Snyder. (I adore her books. If you haven't read them yet, go run out and catch up.) The two of us ended up going out to dinner that first night with two of my favorite peeps from the Coastal Magic convention, author extraordinaire Carrie Ann Ryan and copy editor extraordinaire and Official Woman with the Coolest Hair Chelle Olson. We went to a fun brewery restaurant and shared tastes of all the different beers made in house. Also, yummy guacamole.

Chelle, Carrie Ann, and Maria
 One of the best things about going to this particular convention is being able to meet up with people I never get to see anyplace else. I had a great lunch meeting with my agent Elaine Spencer (which I somehow completely failed to get a picture of, dammit), met the glorious Tawna Fenske in person at last

The glorious Tawna Fenske
 Had breakfast and then other meet-ups with one of my favorite people, Harlequin senior editor Patience Bloom (who has the best red hair evah and is also a sweetie of the Nth order).

One of the reasons I decided to go this year was because one of my very favorite authors was giving the keynote speech at the luncheon. I love, love, love Susan Wiggs' books (they're an auto-buy for me) and while we follow each other on Twitter, I've never met her. She was a great speaker, and when I got to meet up with her later at the Berkley party, it was absolutely the highlight of my con. (And AGAIN, no picture! Argh!)

Susan Wiggs
At these cons, you tend to run into the same people over and over again. At this particular one, that person was the lovely and charming Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I kept swearing I wasn't stalking her, but I'm not sure she believed me. Either way, she was absolutely gracious about it.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips. And yes, that book came home with me.
At the "Cool Kids" table for the awards ceremony.
 One of the highlights of the convention is the RITA awards ceremony. I actually got to sit at the Cool Kids table between amazing author Kristan Higgins and my lovely pal Patience.

The last night, I had fun in a photo booth with Princess Alethea Kontis (who I also know from Coastal Magic--seriously, you people want to go to THAT convention) at Sherrilyn Kenyon's book release party. It is possible we got a little silly.

As always, I kept my goal to have bacon every day at the con. It's important to have goals in life, don't you think?

Dinner on the last night with roomie Maria. BBQ by the pool, yum!

Best roommate ever
 I always come home from these things with a million books. This time I swore I would limit it to ten, so I didn't have to pay to ship a big box home. Yeah. Not so much.

27 is the same as 10, right?
 Although in my defense, the three books in the middle are ones my agent brought me to read for inspiration on the current book I'm writing, and the pile on the right is for the cat sitters and some friends, and a giveaway. AND I had to mail home the rest of the swag I brought with me to give away.
 Oh, wait, did I say giveaway? I brought home a copy of Susan's last book, The Family Tree (I already have it in hardcover), plus a luggage tag with a picture of her upcoming book, A Map of the Heart. Plus, there are two tote bags! I'll probably also throw in some misc. bookmarks and such. Who wants to enter?

This is going to be a quickie giveaway, only on for a few days, so be sure to enter right away. Oh, and Magic the Cat would like you to know that she helped me pack.

She's never happy about me leaving, and you can tell.
Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form. You get credit for anything you've already done, like following me on Twitter. (You've already done that, RIGHT?)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Next up, a blog about my visit to Animal Adventure Park to see April the giraffe!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Reinventing Ruby Out in Print!

For those of you who asked (and thanks to  my hard-working team behind the curtain), Reinventing Ruby is now out in PRINT!

It is unfortunately more expensive than the eBook, because Print on Demand costs a lot more, but I have kept the price as low as I could by taking only about a dollar in profits. I just want my paper readers to have the book too.

I hope you like it!
You can get it HERE.

Coming soon...blog post about my trip to RWA Nationals, and my day at Animal Adventure Park visiting April the giraffe! Plus, a giveaway...

(Also, a reminder that early reviews can make or break a book. Please take a minute to review the book if you like it. *smooches*)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Heading to RWA Nationals

I am leaving on Tuesday afternoon for one of the largest writing conferences in the world, the RWA (Romance Writers of America) National conference, being held this year in Orlando, Florida. The location changes, although every four years or so it heads to NYC, since that is publishing central. I usually go to that one because I can get there by bus (5 1/2 hours!) but Orlando is close enough to manage, and it is the only place I get to meet up with my agent Elaine Spencer in person, so I decided to go this year even if it meant flying.

I'm going to be sharing a room with the lovely Maria V. Snyder, who is not only an incredible author whose work I adore and admire, but a very cool person to boot. So yay for that! I'm also going to get a chance to meet up with a bunch of author friends who I never get to see otherwise, do some networking, and take a few workshops that might help with some of the new directions my writing is heading in.

Thankfully, I have an amazing cat sitter coming to take care of Mystic, Magic, and Angus--she used to work at a vet's office, so I know that Mystic (who is doing quite well) will be in good hands. It makes it a lot easier to go than it would be otherwise. Thanks, Alicia!

On Saturday, there will be a Literacy Signing from 3-5PM. It is open to the public and the proceeds all go to benefit literacy (and there will be hundreds of great authors there, some of them WAY more famous than I am). I hope if you are local, you'll stop in and say hello.

Here are a few pictures from past conferences--I'll post an update with new ones when I get home. Are any of you going to be there?

Me and Maria in 2015

The lovely Patience Bloom--I can't wait to see her this year!

At the book signing in 2015

With favorite author Jennifer Crusie
Let me know if you're going to be there!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Reinventing Ruby Celebration Giveaway

My new novel, REINVENTING RUBY went live on Monday, and I'm really excited about the positive reception it's getting. (Some of you have asked if it will be out in print, and the answer is "Yes, we're working on it. Soon.")

So I asked Magic the Cat how we should celebrate and this was her answer:

Kindle Fire!!!! (Ignore the messy desk.)
Yes, it's giveaway time again! I'll have another one soon with some themed items relating to the book, but I want to give people a little time to read first.

Read me!

As always, just use the Rafflecopter form below. (Yes, you get to take credit for things like following the blog if you've already done it.) No purchase is necessary, although of course I'll love you forever if you actually buy the book. It's also REALLY important to get those first few reviews out there, so if you did read it and liked it, I'd be seriously grateful if you'd put up a review at places like Amazon, Goodreads, and B&N. Just spreading the word is helpful too. Have I mentioned recently how much I love my readers?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 17, 2017

Reinventing Ruby Book Birthday!

My new foodie romance is out in the world! I hope you'll take a chance on something completely different from me. (And with this kind of switch-up, reviews are EXTRA important and I'll love you forever it you take the time to put one up after you read.)

Big giveaway coming this week! But for now, it's release day for REINVENTING RUBY!!!! I hope you love her.

Buy Links:



If you read it, let me know what you think!  

Friday, July 14, 2017

Sekrit Project Revealed

As those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter or read my blog might know, I have been working on a Sekrit Project for a while. I’m finally ready to share it with the world! (If you get my newsletter, you found out this morning.)

So, unbeknownst to most of my readers, I have been preparing to shift gears away from doing just Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy (although I will probably still be doing some of that) to writing some contemporary romance as well. I’ve wanted to write romantic comedy for years—who couldn’t use a laugh these days?—and it is finally coming back into the market. In addition, I like contemporary romance set in small towns, women’s fiction (especially if it has some humor in it), and of course, the occasional foodie romance.

What is a foodie romance, you ask? Pretty much what it says: a romance that is centered around food and cooking in some way. I wrote one a few years ago that I love, but we were never able to find the right home for it. So I finally decided to put it out myself. Introducing—drumroll please—

Here’s what it’s about:

Ruby Tate is a cautious and controlled woman; her only passions are cooking and her restaurant, Jewels. Unless you count the uncharacteristic one-night stand she had with a charming stranger the night of her sister’s bachelorette party. And she doesn’t. After all, she got out of his bed the next morning and returned to her real life—dealing with a failing restaurant, a not-so-silent silent partner, and a difficult family. And now there’s this new problem, like a ticking time bomb hiding beneath her white chef’s jacket.

Jonathan Gautier is a rising star in the culinary world. With three successful restaurants, a best-selling cookbook, and a new television show, he should be happy, but after six months on the road filming Seven Worth Saving and working in everyone’s kitchens but his own, Jonathan is burned-out and uninspired. The closest thing he’s had to a social life was one amazing night with a woman whose name he isn’t even sure of. All he wants is to wrap up this last episode and get back to his own kitchen. Maybe there he’ll be able to recapture his love of cooking, because if he can’t, he doesn’t know what on earth he’ll do with his life.

When Jonathan walks into Jewels, Ruby is horrified. She can’t believe that the famous chef who is her only hope for saving her restaurant is the man who gave her the best night of her life, and a little something extra. All she wants now is for him to help her save her dreams—and then go away. But Jonathan has other ideas. Lots of other ideas; most of which involve Ruby, food, and nakedness. And Jonathan didn’t get to be the success that he is by taking “no” for an answer. Together, they must find a way to save Jewels, even if that means completely Reinventing Ruby.

I really love this book and I hope you will too. I have to warn you, it is a little (coff) spicier than my Baba Yaga books. Let’s just say that all the heat isn’t in the kitchen! There are no witches or dragons, but there are some fun recipes as a bonus at the end. If you like my other books, I hope you’ll follow me along on this new adventure too.

Here are some buy links for the ebooks. The book releases on Monday, July 17th, but the preorders are live now.

I know that some of you really prefer print books, so I’ll be making a print version available through Amazon’s POD (print on demand). It will have to be more expensive than the digital version because of the additional costs of the printing, but I wanted to at least be able to offer you the option. It may take us a couple of days to get the print version up there, but it is coming.

I'll be doing a giveaway sometime next week (I'm waiting for some special-order goodies), so be sure to check back. You know how I love my giveaways. I’d REALLY love it if you would spread the word far and wide. If this is a success, there may be a few more surprises for you down the road.

Thanks as always for taking this journey with me!

(And special thanks to pals Karen Buys, Sierra Newburn, and Kari Blackmoore, for editing, formatting, and the wonderful cover!)