This gorgeous creature greeted me as I drove down the mountain this morning.

Fox in the morning

I love Colorado!


Darkly Dreaming Facebook Header



I’m soooooo excited about Darkly Dreaming, in which Elizabeth Hunter, Danielle Monsch, Grace Draven, Kristen Painter and I have joined together. We’re five award-winning and bestselling authors (and a force of nature :-D ). If you haven’t read these authors’ novels yet, this is your chance to dive into a fantasy romance wonderland. Or five!

Darkly Dreaming-3D

Grab me now!

Master of Crows by Grace Draven
Stone Guardian by Danielle Monsch
Heart of Fire by Kristen Painter
Kismet’s Kiss by Cate Rowan
The Scribe by Elizabeth Hunter

Darkly Dreaming has descendants of angels, black elf mercenaries, gargoyles, vengeful goddesses, and heretical mages all waiting to entertain you between the pages.

Yep, FIVE riveting full-length novels. Have I mentioned that this set contains nearly $25 worth of fantasy romance for 99 cents? BARGAIN. :-) We will not be keeping it at that price, so click to grab this set now at the store of your choice.

And just to tease you:

Darkly Dreaming quote by Grace Draven
Darkly Dreaming quote by Danielle Monsch
Darkly Dreaming quote by Elizabeth Hunter
Darkly Dreaming quote by Kristen Painter
Darkly Dreaming quote — Cate Rowan

OMG, it’s been soooo hard to keep this quiet!


Darkly Dreaming Boxed Set Cover

I’m delighted to be in DARKLY DREAMING, a spellbinding fantasy romance boxed set with four other award-winning and bestselling authors: Elizabeth Hunter, Grace Draven, Danielle Monsch and Kristen Painter.

DARKLY DREAMING is an anthology of five full-length novels! My contribution is Kismet’s Kiss. :-D Pre-order this anthology now because it’s just $0.99 for a limited time. =-D

Yep, FIVE captivating full-length novels for $0.99! An incredible bargain—so even if you have my Kismet’s Kiss, grab all of the others for this mind-blowing price. The other delicious books in the set are The Scribe (Elizabeth Hunter), Master of Crows (Grace Draven), Stone Guardian (Danielle Monsch) and Heart of Fire (Kristen Painter).

We have descendants of angels, black elf mercenaries, gargoyles, vengeful goddesses, and heretical mages all waiting to entertain you between these pages. So grab yourself a copy!

DARKLY DREAMING is available for pre-order on Amazon, iTunes, and Smashwords:


Smashwords (all ebook formats):

Apple’s iTunes/iBooks:



Fall into magic and fall in love with


Feared by a priesthood. Coveted by a god. Tempted by a slave. In Grace Draven’s MASTER OF CROWS, a renegade mage must battle a god for his soul and decide if his fate—and the fate of nations—is worth the life of the spy he has come to love.

Experience sword, sorcery, and mythical beings as never before in STONE GUARDIAN, the first book of the Entwined Realms by Danielle Monsch. Larissa’s sheltered world is destroyed when she is targeted by Necromancers. With nowhere else to turn, Larissa forms an uneasy alliance with Terak, leader of the Gargoyles. Will Terak be Larissa’s salvation, or her downfall?

Sometimes love is the most dangerous magic of all. In HEART OF FIRE by Kristen Painter, Jessalyne leaves a sheltered life to tame her dangerous magic by becoming apprentice to a powerful sorceress, but she’ll need the deadliest man in the realm to get her there safely. If they don’t kill each other first.

Be swept away in KISMET’S KISS by Cate Rowan. In the desert realm of Kad, a deadly epidemic strikes the palace of Sultan Kuramos. Only a mystical healer from an enemy land may have the skill to save his household. He never imagined that healer would be a woman.

Hidden at the crossroads of the world, an ancient race battles to protect humanity, even as it dies from within. Ava comes to modern day Istanbul in THE SCRIBE, the first book in the Irin Chronicles by Elizabeth Hunter. One woman searching for answers finds a reluctant guardian in a warrior whose magic is written on his skin. But does Ava have magic of her own?

DARKLY DREAMING is an anthology of five full-length novels of fantasy romance. Pre-order it now for just $0.99!

Praise for Master of Crows:
“A fantasy romance at its best, sinfully rich, beautifully written, with characters who will stay with you long after you finish the read. Don’t miss this jewel of a story.” ~ Ilona Andrews, #1 NYT Bestselling Author

Praise for Stone Guardian:
“Danielle’s gargoyles are strong, silent, sexy, and secretive, while her plot was smart and fast-paced.” ~ Karen Rose, NY Times and International Bestseller of Romantic Suspense

Praise for Heart of Fire:
“The worldbuilding in this novel is breathtaking. The romance between the H/h is sweet and angsty and beautiful.” ~The Romanceaholic

Praise for Kismet’s Kiss:
“If you’re looking for an exotic story with incredible depth and riveting characters, then this is your book. Electrifying. It keeps you on the edge of your seat for the entire ride.” ~The Crazy Bookworm

Praise for The Scribe:

“A brilliantly harmonized read that flows with full and beautiful characters, wild and wonderful history, exotic locations, and an ending that will leave even the toughest among us in tears.” ~Leisha O’Quinn, Rolopolo Book Blog

C’mon, you know you wanna
nab this set for $0.99
while you can. :-D

I’m a mountain girl. Something about alpine vistas makes me breathe deep while my heart quivers. That’s why I’ve yearned for Colorado since my first visit 20-odd years ago, and why I now live on the top of a mountain in the Rockies. (My short story Flirting with the Fireman riffs from a real-life experience shortly after I moved here, heehee.)

My honey and I (currently known as Dr. 4×4, and no, he’s not a fireman :-) ) were able to take a couple of quick getaways in my adopted home state. Colorado is delish.

Salida, Colorado

This was the view from our hotel window in Salida, Colorado. Hands up, who wants to wake to that view every morning?

I’ll post a few photos of Southern Colorado now—especially from the Black Canyon of the Gunnison—and more photos of Colorado’s mountainous beauty in the future. Alas, I’m no professional photographer, and in some of these I was still trying to figure out the camera on my new phone, heh—but they’ll give you a taste.

Oh, and keep your eyes out for a new release announcement soon. :)

Glacier-made valley in Colorado

A glacier-made valley near Spring Creek Pass southeast of Lake City, Colorado

Near Slumgullion Pass & Uncompaghre Peak

Near Slumgullion Pass. Uncompaghre Peak (14,309 feet high) is the rose-thorn pointy one.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Black Canyon of the Gunnison. You can barely see the Gunnison River in its twisty bed, but it’s down there.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

More Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Dramatic scenery, no?

Painted Rock in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Famous “Painted Rock” in…yep. the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Gorge-ous, isn’t it? :D

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Aaaand more of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. It’s a loooong way down, peeps. Yay for guard rails!

I’ve been wandering around my gorgeous adopted state and will have pics of its wonders up soon.

Oh, and news about new releases. :-) Stay tuned!

WOOHOO, it’s time for RomCon in Denver! I’ll be at the booksigning on Friday evening (6/20) with goodies to give away. I’ll also be participating in the Hot Heroes (Saturday morning) and Magical Firsts (Sunday morning) events, as well as the first half of Mimosa Madness (since Hot Heroes takes place during the second half, darn it).

FASHION NOTE: During the author events on Thursday I’ll be sporting my usual ‘do, but Friday through Sunday I’ll likely be wearing garb characteristic of my stories’ fantasy worlds, including a long wig (either purple or red, or possibly different on different days) and a fantasy tiara!

If you spot me, mention you read this post to get fun swag and magic dust. :-)

See you soon!

Tidbits in this post:

  • ► Lirael’s Candle, a new FREE short story!
  • Special 99-cent sale on books from multiple fantasy authors
  • $200 in gift cards and prizes—woohoo!


News about a big SALE coming up, but first:


My Facebook fan page ( has a brand-new goodie for those who click to “Like” the page. Look for the “Free Short Story” button just beneath the top banner! Lirael’s Candle is a short and sweet fantasy romance in a time of war. Let it put some love and sugar into your day. ❤

Lirael's Candle book cover


I finished a new fantasy romance novella during November’s National Novel Writing Month. I’m rewriting it now and it wouldn’t surprise me if it grows back into a novel after revisions. :-) It’s going to be part of a genie trilogy. Here’s a series teaser:

Centuries ago three brothers were cursed to be djinn,
slaves forever caged
in a golden lamp, a silver mirror and a bronze ring—
until true love frees them.

Three unsuspecting Texas women with rotten Man Luck
are about to get the surprise of their lives.

I’ll keep you posted when they release!


There are two new interviews of me on the web. Check out my “Ruby Tuesday” interview from yesterday (we talk about dream vacations, mountain goodness, favorite books, and offensively orange Broncos headwear) and an interview and review of my novel The Source of Magic by YA Fantasy author Ashley L. Knight. Stop by!


99-Cent Sale!

Get your goodies now.


I’ll start with mine. :-) For the next four days ONLY, you can get reader favorite Kismet’s Kiss for just $0.99—that’s an 80% discount!

This is the engrossing royal romance that The Romance Reviews proclaimed “A must-read for all fantasy romance lovers” and Smexy Books called “a magical, exhilarating, sensual delight. Lush exotic world building, riveting storyline, and strong personable characters set the stage for a rich and captivating story.” Kismet’s Kiss was a two-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® Finalist.

I don’t do sales often, so grab it from one of the four stores below while you can!




$0.99 USD at:
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords (all formats, all countries—use coupon NA69Y
to get the discount)


Already have Kismet’s Kiss? GREAT! Forward this post to your friends so they can grab copies, too. And check out the other authors below…


Other fantasy authors participating in the sale:

Tabitha Levin
Chystalla Tomas
Cate Rowan
Anna Kyss
Christine Pope
Katherine Pine
Kelly Walker
Penelope Fletcher
Vickey Loebel
Livia Blackburne
Jessica Aspen

plus our sponsor, I Read Fantasy.

For more info on the books in the 99-cent sale, go to!

Last, but not least:


We have $200 in prize money up for grabs: $100, $50, $30, $20 in gift cards. Winners can choose between Amazon or Barnes & Noble! Here’s the direct link to enter:

Good luck with the prizes, enjoy your books, and forward this post to your friends so they can enjoy the fantasy goodness, too. :-)

This weekend I attended the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Colorado Gold 2013 conference. It was wonderful to spend time with old friends and make new ones!

I gave a workshop for published authors and other advanced writers that I’d titled “The Road Map to a Successful E-Pub Career Shift”. I focused on self-publishing (a.k.a. being an indie author). I’m always a bit nervous before speaking in public, but it seemed to go very well and several attendees thanked me afterward for creating an organized presentation that really helped them know the steps they needed to take.

One of the attendees asked that I put my PowerPoint slides on the web. This morning I tried uploading the slides to a slide-sharing site, but I’m still waiting, four hours later, for the darned thing to “convert”. Then I used PowerPoint to save the slides as a movie. Should work, right? Turns out the movie file is too big too upload here. D’oh! I did send the slides to the person in charge of the RMFW website as well, so I’ll update this post if/when I’ve gotten the slides up somewhere, LOL. *SEE UPDATE BELOW

Joyco Multimedia made a recording and I got a copy on CD, but their website doesn’t seem to have anything later than the 2009 conference available, so I am stumped there.

Meanwhile, here’s the PDF handout: “Additional Resources and Helpful Stuff

UPDATE: Slideshare finally got things working (woohoo!), so here’s the PowerPoint presentation I did. It doesn’t include all the little transitions and it doesn’t have all the info I talked about, but at least it’s something. :)

The sea is often a lovely and very romantic place. I’ve had some wonderful experiences on the ocean, like a pod of dolphins Dolphin swimmingjust outside my ship’s cabin window swimming and jumping alongside the ship for an hour. One of the fantasy romance novels I have in the hopper (working title: The Ocean Between Us) has me thinking about the ocean and all the life within it. Seeing the dolphins play alongside the giant cruise ship was quite a gift.

I recently came across a blog from Princess Cruises with some happy-making stories of love beginning at sea. Here’s a recent and romantic favorite of mine:

Anyone have any favorite sea (or love at sea) stories?

Book cover art can be evocative, intriguing, and delightful—or confusing, dull, and even off-putting. I’ve had covers on both ends of the spectrum. (Live and learn, fortunately.)

Here was my very first book cover, from the fall of 2010.

Original cover of Kismet's Kiss

Kismet’s Kiss #1

Looking at it now, nearly three years later, I still love the idea of it—the beautiful blues, the arched window, the exotic city outline, the streaks across the sky that lead the eye into the story. But I never loved the font. I tried a ton of them and couldn’t find ones that I loved. So I decided to commission someone to do a new cover, and found some stock art people I wanted to use. The result was one of my very favorite covers, even though I’ve since replaced it:

Second cover of Kismet's Kiss

Kismet’s Kiss #2

This cover delighted me…the graphic artist did a wonderful job with the color scheme, the stars, the doorway and the city outline, and they all matched the idea in my head and meshed together. I got a lot of compliments on that cover, at a time when a lot of indie covers were getting roundly booed.

And then I finished revising Kismet’s Kiss‘s prequel, The Source of Magic. I had a vision for that one, too, and wanted to see if I could do it myself. Here was the result:

First cover for The Source of Magic

The Source of Magic #1

The text still bothered me a bit, so after a few months I did some tweaking:

Second cover for The Source of Magic

The Source of Magic #2

I loved #2. Flat-out loved it, if I do say so myself. And I got a lot of compliments on that cover, which made me very proud since it was homegrown. Yay!

Hmm, Cate, you say. If you loved Kiss #2 and Source #2, why did you change them?

I reeeeally wanted to keep them. In fact, I did for a long time. But take a look at them again… you’d never guess those two covers belong to the books in the same series, would you?

I knew there was a problem, but I was in denial.

Next I finished a prequel to Source and Kiss called Swords and Scimitars. I thought I knew what I was doing when I made that cover, but in hindsight…

First cover of Swords and Scimitars

Swords and Scimitars #1

This cover is boring. Yeah, hindsight can be blunt. I still love the deep red, and the cover model looks just like I imagine Kismet did just before he left his mortal life behind. Even so, it’s blah.

So I hired a talented cover artist to do a new one:

Second cover of Swords and Scimitars

Swords and Scimitars #2

No question that it’s a huge improvement. But…I didn’t like the direction the artist and I were going with the mockups for the Swords and Scimitars sequel, Sword and Lute. And I couldn’t figure out a way to visually connect either of those covers to The Source of Magic and the Kismet’s Kiss covers, either.

Ugh, back to Square One.

And that’s when, after much frustration and brainstorming, I figured out a cover style I felt could work for all of the Alaia Chronicles series covers. I wanted something that would connect the books in the series and could be easily changed for each book, both with different bold colors and with an image particular to each book.

Here’s what I did for Kismet’s Kiss and The Source of Magic:

Current cover of Kismet's Kiss Current Cover of The Source of Magic

I kept my favorite pieces of the original cover for each one. For Kismet’s Kiss, it was the romantic couple, because these two people look exactly like the Kuramos and Varene in my head—plus they’re in a very characteristic pose for that book, with Kuramos wanting Varene and being his sexy and tantalizing self, and Varene yearning for him too, but doing her stubborn best to resist.

For The Source of Magic, I kept the hands reaching for each other, just like Jilian and Varene reached for each other across the worlds between them.

I like those two current covers for sure, but I can’t lie—Kiss #2 and Source #2 are still my favorites. :) But series branding rules the day.

The fun part was that as I kept writing, I got to add new covers that matched:

Cover of Swords and Scimitars Cover of Sword and Lute

Since Swords and Scimitars had two brothers at odds and was more romantic fantasy than fantasy romance, the crossed scimitars seemed to fit well. (I had a heckuva time finding scimitars I liked, and ended up doing a lot of work in my graphics program to make the image. Again, live and learn…)

For Sword and Lute, I ended up slogging through a LOT of stock photo sites for just the right people. I am very picky about the people on my book covers. If they don’t look like the ones in my head, it’s a no-go. Fortunately, these two were a great match. I love how they fit into the heart, too.

Next came Kiss That Frog and Flirting with the Fireman. I wanted a different look for them, since they are standalone fantasy romance stories that aren’t part of the Alaia Chronicles series. White seemed like a fun change, although getting the dark borders to show up in some posts and at Amazon has been quite a thorn in my side.

Cover of Kiss that Frog Cover of Flirting with the Fireman

So here we are, with these final six covers being the ones I’m keeping.

For now, anyway. :)


Get the scoop on new releases, sales, reader goodies and giveaways!

Acclaim for Cate’s Books

One of those rare treasures that, once started, you hope will never end. A magical ride. Unforgettable characters and twists and turns that keep us turning the pages. Forget about sleeping, because I wasn’t able to put this novel down until the end, and you won’t be able to either.”

Cover of The Source of Magic by Cate Rowan
—The Romance Reviews

From My Facebook Author Page

  • Foxy morning

    This gorgeous creature greeted me as I drove down the mountain this morning. I love Colorado! [ 1 more word. ]

    This gorgeous creature greeted me as I drove down the mountain this morning. I love Colorado! [ 1 more word. ]

    Posted By Author Cate Rowan

  • Want my award-winning fantasy romance THE SOURCE OF MAGIC for FREE? Check out this Read & Review...

    By Cate Rowan The most powerful magic is love. Visions of a mysterious and gorgeous stranger plague Jilian Stewart. She's sure they're brought on by the stress of her mother's deadly paralysis. But when the stranger appears, clasps her to his chest and yanks her from Scotland into a magical battle,…

    By Cate Rowan The most powerful magic is love. Visions of a mysterious and gorgeous stranger plague Jilian Stewart. She's sure they're brought on by the stress of her mother's deadly paralysis. But when the stranger appears, clasps her to his chest and yanks her from Scotland into a magical battle,…


    Posted By Author Cate Rowan

  • Night Owl Reviews has given "The Source of Magic" a 4.5 Star review!!

    A place to find books, read book reviews and meet the authors

    A place to find books, read book reviews and meet the authors


    Posted By Leagh Christensen