Life

Here's a snippet from my newsletter, which I publish every few weeks. Subscribe at https://caterowan.com/news to get book sneak peeks & ALL the news. 😀

Hello from hiding-under-the-covers land!

I hope you are doing well and aren't living in it, too. I mean, there's plenty of room for us all, but it's a weird place to be.

Fuzzy hugs

I'll ‘fess up: I live under the covers just part of the time. Sometimes life is fine — most things haven't changed too much in mine, all things considered, given that we live in a rural area and I work from home.

But Dr. 4×4 still works in the ER, diagnoses COVID-19 patients, and recently had a CV scare, himself. So let's just say my cuticles and fingernails have been taking a beating this year. (2020 has a lot of suckage, y'all. I know you get that, too.)

And then there's the all the other stuff going on here in the U.S. and across the world… sometimes I'm bawling, sometimes I'm yelling at the TV, sometimes I'm opening up my wallet for causes I believe in.

Authors tend to be empathetic creatures. That's one of the reasons we write — we think about what it's like to be other people all the time. 

Readers tend to be empathetic, too. That's one of the reasons we love books — we get to experience someone else's life for a while.

em*pa*thy = "in" + "feeling"

This is a difficult time for so many of us here and across the world.

But… I have hope for better things coming our way.

In the meantime, I'm sending my love and fervent wishes for better days ahead for anyone who's struggling right now.

Sulley squeeze!
everyone needs a Sulley

Writing News:
The Ocean Between Us is coming!

Not only is the book done (thank you, my beloved and amazing beta readers), but I'm ~90% of the way through drafting the next book in the series, The Spell Between Us. I'm hoping to do a close-together release of them both.

The working name of the series has been The Between Us series (for, yanno, obvious reasons). But that's not such a useful name for the Amazon algorithms. So I have now named the series Swords of Olympus.

(Does that make you think of sexy, half-naked Greeks doing manly and heroic things? Yup!)

*stud*

I also have drool-worthy book covers for both books. The cover reveal for Ocean is coming in another newsletter or two. *muahaha*

There will be FIVE books in this series. 😀 Soon I'll comission the third book cover from my delightful new cover artist. Funny thing is, for a long time I wasn't sure which book would be next. The events in two of them are going to be occurring simultaneously, so I held back… 

But now that I'm closing in on the end of Book 2, it's clear which one needs to be written next, thanks to what the characters are doing now and what needs to happen. (“Couple Three, you're on deck!”)

The kernel of The Ocean Between Us came to me more than a dozen years ago, long before I learned how to scuba dive, long before I got to swim with turtles and sharks.

All I knew then was that the heroine was a cursed and land-locked mermaid, and that she lived in a world dominated by the mercurial, prideful, and self-absorbed gods and goddesses of Olympus. The mermaid's isle would be invaded by a shipwrecked prince, and then… 

Mermaid ahoy!
I'm so freakin' excited to share the REAL book cover with you in a future newsletter!

Furry co-captain updates

Furchildren are all about love, and Dr. 4×4 and I are thinking about adopting a dog if the right one comes along. This is a big deal for Hubs, since he lost his last canine buddy ten years ago after a horrific struggle with cancer.

I am also thinking about a particular loner kitty who responded to my cat whisperings while we were at the shelter looking for a dog. (If I have a super power, it's making cats purr.)

Dr. 4×4, upon realizing that I was thinking about getting another kitty to add to our three, gave me a long-suffering look and reminded me that I can't save all the animals.

In turn, I reminded him that while I can't, saving an animal makes a difference to THAT animal. (Do you know the starfish story?)

Still, this decision isn't a no-brainer. My three kitties will be likely be a bit upset if we get a dog, no matter how kitteh-friendly, and I hesitate to upset the applecart further.

Also, there are other humans who need a little love right now, so I'm hoping someone else who needs a companion will find the kitty in question in the next couple of weeks and they will be the right match.

But, if not…

kittehbutt
my butt is doing this

S'more Cate Updates

Horse had his 12th birthday recently, and his FirstMom sent me his BABY PICS, y'all!

he was kind of a stinker even then
so tie-tie
so tie-tie

It's cute how much darker he got since he was a foal. His momma, on the right of the bottom pic, is the color he is now. (When he's not shaved, anyway. More on that in some future issue…)


Here's a new book from a favorite author!

W00T, there's something new from Grace Draven! She's a wonderful romantic fantasy author, y'all. If you don't know her work yet, check it out. (Brishen and Ildiko in Radiance… Silhara and Martise and Master of Crows… *happy sigh*) Here's her newest, Dragon Unleashed:

Isn't that gorgeous?

A dragon shapeshifter and a healer with power over the earth fight a corrupt empire in this thrilling and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.


Okay, my friends, see you soon with more on The Ocean Between Us as release day gets closer. *Cate does a shimmy*

I hope you get to stay cool (but not frozen, as in my case…) and that you will love aaaall the books that grace your TBR piles!

Yours in Enchanting Fantasy,

CATE ROWAN

I have to record this for posterity, y'all. We did it — the Shades of Fae boxed set, which included my book The Brothers Djinn, was #107 on the USA Today Best-Seller Books list for July 19, 2018. Thank you sooooo much for buying this set and for your love! *HUGS ALL AROUND*

Shades of Fae #107 USAT

This is a copy of the e-newsletter issue I sent out yesterday. Subscribe to the e-newsletter if you want access to the free books mentioned within! https://caterowan.com/nl

 


Tidbits in this issue:

  • *Amazon Bestseller Crown*—W00T!
  • RomCon 2015's upcoming awesomeness
  • New e-bundle!
  • Multi-author Fantasy Romance Fanatics group on Facebook…oh yeahhh
  • FREEBIE STORIES FOR YOU, yes you!
  • Colorado wildlife + not-so-wildlife  🙂

 

Hello, dear readers, and a big welcome to all my new RomCon 2015 subscribers!

I'm thankful that 2015 has been berry berry good to me. In February, The Source of Magic: A Fantasy Romance made the Amazon Kindle overall Top 100 Paid list.

Book cover for The Source of Magic: A Fantasy Romance

*Cate dons Amazon Bestseller crown,
which is made of sparkles and rainbow-hued unicorn hair*

My thanks to each of you for helping to make that dream come true!

I'm excited to be meeting a number of you at the upcoming RomCon Reader Weekend in Denver September 25-27. I've been putting my reader swag together (hint: it smells soooo good) and we're going to have a GREAT time. Come sit at my table for the Reader Luncheon! I'm going to be giving my table a sneak peak at Princess Hellion, my upcoming novel in the Alaia Chronicles series. 😀

Speaking of Alaia Chronicles, there's now an e-bundle of Swords and Scimitars + Sword and Lute. If you haven't read those tales yet, check it out:

Are you craving more fantasy romance? Besides my aforementioned Princess Hellion (which shall be awesome 😀 ), there's a fun new Facebook group, Fantasy Romance Fanatics. Come chat about your favorite books and find new ones to love with other readers and authors of magically fantastic romance!

 


FREEBIE STORIES!

I'm offering two short stories in thanks for you subscribing to this e-newsletter. Want 'em?

[Blog readers: Subscribe here for instant access!]

 


COLORADO WILDLIFE

If you haven't yet friended me on Facebook, you don't know the ongoing saga of Stella, the mustang-born mare I've been leasing since the beginning of August. My nicknames for her have ranged from Stellar to Ms. Piggy to World-Class Butthead. Join me on FB to read more.

As a bonus, here's the marmot who lives in the wood pile under the stairs at the cabin. Yes, that's an actual marmot, not an extraordinarily fat squirrel.


Next to a statue of an owl. Yes, just a statue. Even I do a double-take when I see it.

The Source of Magic: A Fantasy Romance
Kismet's Kiss: A Fantasy Romance
Swords and Scimitars: A Fantasy Short Story
Sword and Lute: A Fantasy Romance Novelette

Kiss That Frog: A Modern Fairy Tale

I hope you have a magical day. 🙂

I'm delighted to be returning to the RomCon Reader Weekend festivities this year!

_rafflecopter

RomCon is SO MUCH FUN, y'all. You will meet your favorite authors and find new ones to love, hang out with them and with readers who love the same books you do, play games that'll make your belly sore from laughing, buy books, get FREE books, have them signed by the authors, and go home with lots of great swag!

I have only 6 seats left at my table on Saturday — yes, come chat with me (and get even more goodies!).

The fun is already beginning with this:

Rafflecopter giveaway

so enter and win!

RomCon 2015 Reader Weekend, Denver, September 25-27 2015

Come say hello!

Need more cute in your day? Here are just a few of the amazing critters Colorado has to offer.

2014-12-22 11.11.22
Best of all was the behbeh. 🙂

2014-12-22 11.11.38

I hope you have plenty of love and cuteness in your day today!

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 honey and I (currently known as Dr. 4×4 🙂 ) 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.

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? 😀

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!

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!

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:

https://linkedbythesea.com/love-at-first-sight/

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

Yes, I've probably earned that nickname. It's not that I hate the holidays—it's more like I've been indifferent to them. I'm self-employed, which just means I have freedom to work all the time. (No, it's not always a good thing.) Weekends are often much like weekdays to me, and coming as I did from a small and not-that-religious family, holidays weren't a big deal to me. So I wasn't planning to do any of the usual rah-rah this time of year.

Peanuts Christmas Tree

And then, pretty much by accident, I inherited a Christmas tree. Of sorts.

My neighbors were moving, and as they were doing their final cleanup, they asked if I wanted this sad little evergreen in a pot.

I have a black thumb, mind you, and cats that have always managed to eat and/or destroy plants, so it's usually best if I stay away from green things. But the little tree reminds me of the pathetic one in the A Charlie Brown Christmas TV special. (Did you know you could buy a Charlie Brown tree at Amazon? Heehee!)

Anyway, to my great surprise, I told the neighbors I'd take the itty bitty evergreen.

I'm surrounded by full-grown ones up here on the mountain, so this little guy has a long way to go—but he gets to stay outside on my deck (which foils the cats) and I pretty much just need to water him every now and then. Or just let the snow fall on him. I figure he and I will do pretty well for a while, until he needs a bigger pot. At which point I'll probably just find a good place to plant him.

My tree got me thinking about celebrations in my fantasy romance novels. The celebrations in those worlds are decidedly…well, non-religious. The gods and goddesses in my books tend to be benign, with a few key exceptions—although they pay more attention to mortal affairs than the mortals might think.

And one thing that even the gods can agree on is love.

Sword and Lute is my latest fantasy romance. It's a novelette about how true love leads a musician who's chasing her dreams to a dying god—and to their second chance at life. There are no holidays in it, save the one new lovers make for themselves. 😉 Ahem.

If you prefer stories set in our world, peek at the books with the white covers below. You can check out all my tales at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Apple and All Romance eBooks.

So here's my question for you: What's YOUR favorite kind of celebration?

I'm participating in Carrie Ann Ryan's Alpha Male Blog Hop, so a lucky commenter from Dec. 14-17 will win a $5 gift card at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo or Starbucks, winner's choice—AND all commenters will be eligible for grand prizes like this:

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $200 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

(International commenters: YES, you are eligible for Grand Prizes #1 & #2! Unfortunately, due to shipping costs, #3 is limited to those in the U.S.A.)

To be eligible for the Blog Hop's grand prizes, you must include your email address IN THE COMMENT ITSELF so the overall Hop administrators can contact you. GOOD LUCK!

  The Source of Magic

Click here to return to the main Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop site.

“Cate Rowan charmed me with her fantastic worldbuilding about the kingdoms of Kad and Teganne.… A must-read for all fantasy romance lovers.”

Cover of Kismet's Kiss by Cate Rowan
—The Romance Reviews

“Rowan brings in the exotic, the magic and the passion in The Source of Magic. If you love magic and romance, you will love Rowan’s books.”

Cover of The Source of Magic by Cate Rowan
—The Pen & Muse Book Reviews

“What little girl (and big girl) hasn’t kissed their share of frogs hoping to have their prince appear? A fun, fast-paced, enjoyably modern fairy tale.”

Cover for Kiss That Frog: A Modern Fairy Tale (Fantasy Romance Novelette)
—Sizzling Hot Books

“From the first page I was instantly transported into a well-developed fantasy world and couldn’t put my Kindle down until I had finished the last page. A fast-paced story with heartfelt emotion!”

Cover of Swords and Scimitars by Cate Rowan
—Amazon Reviewer

“So much sexual tension that the pages are likely to burn your fingers as you eagerly beg for more.”

Cover of Kismet's Kiss by Cate Rowan
—Coffee Time Romance

“A sweet, magical story. I’m so glad I found it!”

Cover for Flirting with the Fireman: A Romantic Short Story
—Amazon Reviewer

“Cate Rowan is a dream-weaver of paranormal fiction. Sword and Lute has a time-warp vibe fusing elements of Antiquity with the Middle Ages and fantasy. Emotionally enlightening and sensually uplifting.”

Cover of Sword and Lute by Cate Rowan
—Susan Frances, Goodreads Reviewer