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. 😀 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. 😀

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!

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. 🙂

Hey peeps, I joined up with 99 authors to offer books at 99 cents each at Amazon today—AND we're giving away $990 worth of prizesSweeeeeeet!

These prices are available on Amazon only.

For a listing of books offered and to enter to win, click here!!

The Source of Magic is my 99-cent contribution. (It's listed in the SF/Fantasy section.) Have it already? No worries—Amazon lets you e-gift to other people. 🙂

There are many amazing authors and books included in this deal, and many genres represented. Go check it out!

Waaay back in February (heh), I released Swords and Scimitars, a historical fantasy short story about the origins of the realm of Kad. (When the immortal twin brothers Kismet and Taso fought over an enchanted sword, tragedy ensued for them both. The guilt of the fight drove Kismet into the realm of Kad, where he became its first sultan and redeemed himself through love. If you don't have Swords and Scimitars yet, it's FREE at most ebook stores…)

Now it's Taso's turn! Sword and Lute is a 16,000-word novelette (think of that as a really long short story or a very short novel) about Taso's awakening from stone—and his unlikely rescuer, the musician Amara. Sword and Lute is a true fantasy romance, complete with a sweet love scene. 🙂cover of Sword and Lute by Cate Rowan

When a cursed sword slashed the god Taso, his immortality gushed into the grass along with his blood. He escaped death—barely—by transforming into stone. Centuries later, the aspiring musician Amara stumbles across the stone and inadvertently morphs Taso back into his dying body. To save him, she must sacrifice her precious lute and her life-long dream. But in return, she might find her heart's desire…

Swords and Scimitars and Sword and Lute are the first two stories in the Alaia Chronicles: Legends series. (I consider them part of the Alaia Chronicles, but since they occur so much earlier, I've added “Legends” to distinguish them from the main timeline.)

Want a taste of Taso's story? Here's a wee excerpt for you:

“Lie down,” she said. “You lost too much blood.”

He gave her a mulish look.

She hastened over, put her hand on his chest and gently pushed him down to the earth. A mistake, because once he was down, he captured her wrist in his warm palm.

“Who are you, maiden fair?”

She shrugged, striving to keep her face composed. “You first. You're the interesting one.”

“I wouldn't say that.” His fingers softened their grip and caressed her skin. “Not at all.”

She gave a noncommittal smile, tugged her hand from his, and stepped away to tend the fire.

“My name is Taso,” he said at last into the silence. “And what is yours, milady?”

Her teeth clamped over her name, and then she flushed. Why should she keep it from him? It was simply a word.

But each piece he knew of her was leading to someplace larger. Deeper. Perilous.

“I'm Amara.” She sprinkled a few grains of precious salt over the meat and didn't turn around.

“Amara,” he repeated, as if he liked the sound of it. Hells, she liked the sound of it when he said it in that mellow voice.

“This will need to cook a while, but I'm sure you're hungry,” she said briskly, and knelt to rummage in her pack for the bread and cheese.

“Amara,” he spoke again, stopping her as easily as if he'd bespelled her. “Thank you. For your help. For your kindness to a stranger.”

She looked at him at last, and shivered. “Did I truly break a spell?”

“You did.”

“Why? How?” She rose and took a step closer to him. “Who are you?”

“I'm Taso.” He smiled, teasing her as firelight danced across his face.

She held still. “Are you a god?”

His chest rose with a long breath and he rolled his gaze up to the star-dusted sky. “I'm not sure.”

Right now Sword and Lute is just 99 cents!

And more good news…

Kismet's Kiss is now in production as an audiobook…and the narrator is AWESOME. We hope to have it out in January or February of 2013. And I hope that not long after that, the audiobook of The Source of Magic will also be published.

Want to check out what else I have available? Amazon has the scoop.

So what's next?

I'm still writing The Soul of Magic, the sequel to Source and prequel to Kismet's Kiss. Woohoo! 2013 is going to be a good year. 🙂

…Yes, indeed I am, and it's a particular crossroads I know all too well. Some background:

I finished the first draft of the Sword and Lute novella—that's Taso's story, so it's chronologically second in the entire Alaian timeline. (It comes just after—well, probably partly during—Kismet's story.)

Anyway, the manuscript needs to sit a few days to give my eyes and brain a break, and then I'll continue with revisions. The first half is in pretty good shape, but the second half is still rough. (I'd love to get it done and up this month, but we shall see.)

In the meantime, I opened up the files for The Soul of Magic. That's Qiara and Rokad's story, and it fits in between The Soul of Magic and Kismet's Kiss.

Soul needs to accomplish many things: tell the love story between those two characters (two of my very favorites) as well as establish the future arc of the entire Alaia Chronicles series—all while setting up Kuramos (the sultan of the later Kismet's Kiss) as an antagonist AND offering him a chance at redemption.

It's a lot. And that's one of the reasons I've struggled with this story for more than a decade.

I first started writing Soul in 2001 as my second novel. I was still such a newbie then, though, and much of what I'd learned by writing The Source of Magic I didn't quite know how to apply to Soul.

I was trying to write Soul by the seat of my pants, rather than plotting it through, and I stumbled and fell. So I put it aside and worked on Kismet's Kiss and on other stories that are still simmering on the burners. (Yep, there are a LOT of full burners in my Muse's kitchen.)

Four or five years ago, after finishing Kismet's Kiss, I picked up The Soul of Magic again. I had been envisioning Soul as a big novel—one at least as long as Kiss, for which I had to cut out an entire subplot just to squeeze it down to 106,000 words. I still remember all the threads from that larger plot of Soul, even though I could send a cruise ship through all the holes I never quite filled during the brainstorming. Something still didn't feel right with it, so I put it back on the burner to simmer.

Within the last couple of years I've played with Soul a number of times. Part of me hugely resists writing such a long book again. It can be very difficult to make everything work, it takes months and a lot of patience, and meanwhile I'd wouldn't be getting any other new stories out, which is tough on a writer's finances.

And the long plot line I'd envisioned had quite a bit of darkness in it. After having lived through a very dark period of my own in the last few years, I haven't been eager to put myself back there.

So I've toyed with shorter and lighter plot line. I think I have all its turning points worked out, and it would probably be amusing to write.

Unfortunately, the lessons I'd originally intended for each of  my main characters are best shown in the longer, darker plot line. And those characters don't seem to think that the shorter one can make things work. Or at least I can't (yet?) see the path for that.

And so I've come back to this crossroads yet again. (Sometimes it feels like I'm stuck in Once Upon A Time‘s Infinite Forest. Where's Rumpelstiltskin to save me?)

I'd really like to have Soul done and published by the end of the year. That would let me have a new book out by the holiday giving season, plus I'd finally (FINALLY!) have the timeline hole between Source and Kiss filled and would be able to label the full novels numerically, 1-3, according to their chronology. All of those reasons should be pushing me toward the lighter storyline, and yet, and yet…

On the good side, I've written four stories this year. They were all shorter works, and they helped me remember writing can be fun. Whichever trail I decide to follow for Soul, I just want to keep that fun part in mind!

I hope you're enjoying your October and reading good books. 🙂

Yes, I have a new release! It's a lovely little confection of a novella called Kiss That Frog: A Modern Fairy Tale.

Cover of Kiss That Frog

A cynical LA artist reluctantly pet-sits for her young niece's frog and discovers magic in the terrarium.

Magic in the terrarium…oh yeah!

One of my final readers has called this story “every woman's grown-up fairy tale,” and I had a blast writing it. Even the cover was fun to design.

Here's where to sample or nab it:

Barnes and Noble
Smashwords (all e-formats)
All Romance eBooks (all e-formats)
Kobo (yes, all my books are finally at Kobo!)
Apple (coming soon—but Smashwords has it in your e-format right now)

By the way, I'm over at the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood blog today talking about Frog, and about the magic of story. (Psst…I'm giving away a couple of copies of Frog there, so feel free to stop by!)

I'm also showing off the new covers for my Alaia Chronicles series (Swords and Scimitars, The Source of Magic, and Kismet's Kiss) at the Ruby blog, and that makes for a fun before-and-after comparison. I'd love to hear your thoughts about the changes.

Oh, I'm on Pinterest now! Come see my page and follow me. 🙂

W00T! My fantasy short story “Swords and Scimitars”−a hero's journey and part of my Alaia Chronicles series−has gone free on the Amazon Kindle and free at Apple's iTunes. Psst—folks can also read it for free at my website. Have at it, peeps!

Meanwhile, during my June NaNoWriMo a novella called Kiss that Frog elbowed its way to the front and demanded to be written NOW. It ‘s a fun contemporary fantasy romance that's separate from the Alaia Chronicles series. So, in addition to work on The Soul of Magic, I finished a draft of KtF a few days ago and I'm in the middle of edits. I already found a perfect cover image, too, heh heh. It'll be out in a few weeks, Lor' willin' and the creek don' rise, so look for the announcement.

First up, FREE, yes FREE: My 5-star historical fantasy short story Swords and Scimitars (a prequel to the award-winning Kismet's Kiss) is free at Amazon TODAY through sometime Sunday 5/20. Nab a copy and please tell your fantasy-loving friends to grab one, too! This story is one of my favorite things I've ever written. Pssst: remember that anyone with a computer or smartphone can read Kindle books for free, even without a physical Kindle device. Get S&S here:

Amazon US | France | Germany | Italy | Spain | UK

I had my very first download from Spain today, thanks to the giveaway. How cool is that?

Cover updates: I'm in the process of finding/creating/commissioning a good series design for the covers so they'll look distinctively mine—alike enough to be clearly the same series, and yet unique enough to catch the eye. While I adore, adore, adore the covers for Kismet's Kiss and The Source of Magic, they don't look like they're part of a series. I haven't figured the new design out yet (not for lack of dozens of lost hours, alas), but meanwhile I have an updated cover for Swords and Scimitars and I refreshed the cover text for The Source of Magic. Here's some visual yumminess for the time being:

Cover of Swords and Scimitars by Cate Rowan

Desert-y goodness!

Cover of The Source of Magic by Cate Rowan

Ooh, reach just a little farther...

Series name: Since all my published books/stories take place on Alaia, I'm calling the series “Alaia Chronicles.” Eventually I'll add the following subseries (these names were my original plan):

Alaia Chronicles: Women of Fate (for The Source of Magic and its sequel coming out later this year)

Alaia Chronicles: The Women of Kismet (for the Kismet's Kiss sequels coming in 2013)

I'm not sure what I'll name the subseries of the two origin stories (Swords and Scimitars and Swords and Lute, coming soon). Have an idea? Send me an email and I'll thank you in the stories!

Distribution news: My run with KDP Select (Amazon exclusive) is almost done for Swords and Scimitars, and I look forward to making it available in other stores, including B&N, Apple, and Smashwords—and right here at my website!—within a few weeks.

Wheee, the audiobook: As you might remember, The Source of Magic will become an audiobook this year, thanks to the publisher AudioLark. I've chosen a wonderful narrator and I'm very excited about her work. As an author, it's a thrill to hear my words, my story, being read by a professional narrator. It's a whole new perspective on the story, and I'm giddy about hearing the entire audiobook soon. With luck, it'll be finished and available at Audible by the end of the year. =-)

I hope all is well with you this lovely May. I'll be back in a few weeks… with a new release. 😀

“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