Archive for the 'Good news!' Category

Summer lovin’
by Jessa Slade on August 17th, 2009

Currently working on: A mental breakdown
Mood: Ecstatic

I didn’t get as much writing done last night as I wanted to.  I blame summer.  Actually, I blame the cucumber-basil martinis, but those are definitely a taste of summer.

  1. Pour crushed ice into a martini glass.  Set aside to chill.
  2. Mix a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of hot water into a syrup.
  3. Chop a chunk of cucumber (about 3 inches, peeled and seed-free) into small cubes
  4. In a shaker, crush the cucumber together with 2-3 torn basil leaves along with the syrup.
  5. Add vodka, a tablespoon of fresh lime juice, and ice.
  6. Shake well.
  7. Empty the ice from the chilled martini glass. Garnish with a rim of sugar and a cucumber slice.
  8. Strain the cuke-basil mixture into your glass.  Eat the cucumber slice and count it as a serving of vegetables.
  9. Relax and savor summer.

martiniBecause it’s almost gone!!!  A few days ago, I overheard the phrase “late summer” referring to where we are in the calendar.

Late summer?!  But I don’t even have a tan yet.  Well, okay, I don’t tan, but I haven’t converted my full year’s supply of Vitamin D from sunlight.  Late summer?  Noooooo!

Long days, warm nights, gardening, hiking, camping, lazing…  All play havoc with my writing schedule.  If August is late summer in the Pacific Northwest, then July is the only summer we have.  Winter is November through May.  June we just ignore because it’s too embarrassing.  (I won’t go into September/October; those are a well-kept secret ’round here.)

Knowing the pleasures of summer are so fleeting makes indulging in them seem almost… necessary.  I eat too many blueberries.  I walk barefoot until my feet are permanently filthy.  I stay up too late and get up too early because the sun is out there and it’s calling my name.  Those are good memories to conjure against a dark and stormy Oregon afternoon.

Although I have to admit, I’m sort of looking forward to autumn this year.  Not only does my first book come out, but I’ll be working on Books 3 and 4 of the Marked Souls which sold last week to NAL Signet Eclipse!  Hence the breakdown mentioned in the status update above.  And now I think about it, that might also explain the martinis ;)

What’s your definitive taste of summer?  It doesn’t have to be an actual taste.  Smells and sounds are good too.  In fact, anything sensual will do just fine.

Diving Into Other Worlds
by Annette McCleave on June 30th, 2009

As a writer, the bulk of my daydreams are about the worlds I weave for my books. Some of my most relaxing moments are just sitting in my La-Z-Boy, immersing myself completely in the sights and sound and smells of that magical place, where ever it might be. Even if the real world is ratcheting up the tension, I can de-stress in an instant simply by closing my eyes and following my characters into their adventures.

As a reader, all it takes is a skilled wordsmith with a flair for storytelling and I’m off visiting far-off lands and ancient times. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen into a great book only emerge hours later wondering how much time has passed. Unless I then discover I’m late for something, LOL, that’s a blissful moment. To be transported. Sigh. That’s what my book budget is really for.

I don’t do much spontaneous daydreaming. To be honest, I feel like I’m living my dream. But I do tend to surround myself with paintings and pictures of peaceful places I’d love to dive into.


Calendars of Scottish castles, paintings of houses in the autumn, pictures of winding country roads. A few images of the stars… And yes, some clear blue water and white sand scenes. They have the power to make me forget, just for a second, the phone bill and the laundry pile. Some days, that’s exactly what I need.

Do you have a favorite place to daydream? Inside? Outside? At the office, LOL?

My romantic moment
by Jessa Slade on April 6th, 2009

Currently working on: Redesigning website
Mood: Giddy

This week’s topic here at Silk And Shadows is about “the best romantic scene in a book or movie.”  But I’m unable to compose a sensible response because I’m in love.


Shhh, shh.  Don’t look at him.  He’ll know we’re talking about him.  Tee-hee-hee.  Yes, that him!  My hero!  And he’s so strong, and handsome, and dreamy, and well-dressed.  And he has my name on him!  What’s not to love?

That’s the funny thing about those romance scenes.  They don’t have much to do with reality.    Which isn’t to say that romance doesn’t exist; just that it exists outside of the pesky needlings of reality, such as “So, isn’t your hero smart enough to wear a shirt in the middle of a Chicago November?”

That’s why when a new parent proudly displays her offspring with a cooed invitation to share her delight, your response can never be any of the following:

  • “Well, he has the requisite number of limbs.”
  • “At least he looks healthy.” 
  • “Who’s the father again?”  (For the new author, this translates to “Who wrote this?  You did?”)

No, as the cornered audience, you can only warily reflect that the chemical soup of interally produced painkillers, muscle relaxants and mood destabilizers coursing through mama’s bloodstream turns her into something closely related to a sleep-deprived ninja, and enthuse in return, “Oh, he’s going to make all the girls cry.”

Whether your new love is 8 1/2 pounds of squalling infant or 6 1/4 feet of black leather-wrapped alpha — or the 7-inch cover slick of the aforementioned alpha — of course you know it’s not always going to be perfect, or easy, or even particularly tidy.  But you want that moment of illusion, the surprise and joy.  And you want everyone — no, really, everyone — to feel that same thrill.

Later (say, October 6, 2009) he’ll grow up, take off on his own, hopefully make you proud, and maybe even support you in your old age.  But whatever happens, you’ll always be able to pull out the baby picture and remember the moment you first fell in love.

And because who can get enough of baby pictures, here’s the backside.


No, not that backside…


Happy Valentine’s Day!
by Annette McCleave on February 14th, 2009

We hope you all have a truly romantic day with the hero of your dreams.

The random number was 15, which means the lucky winner of SJ Day’s EVE OF DARKNESS ARC is Jane. Congratulations, Jane! We’ll be sending your prize out ASAP. Do drop by on April 14th when SJ is guest blogging with us and share your favorite parts.


Silk And Shadows Authors honored by Romantic Times Book Reviews!
by Jessa Slade on December 7th, 2008

Night Falls Darkly by Kim Lenox was nominated for Best First Historical Book of 2008!!  And Dark Temptation by Allison Chase was nominated for Best Historical Romantic Mystery/Gothic!!

The winners will be announced on April 24th at the Romantic Times Convention in Orlando! Congratulations to our authors and all the other nominees!