Friday, December 30, 2011

Tarot Reading For the New Year!



Friend and fellow author Cora Zane will join me today for free tarot readings open to the public at our Midnight Moon cafe bookshop in Second Life. The details are below.

Hope you can attend. It's sure to be interesting and fun!


Date: Friday, December 30, 2011
Time: 3:00pm SLT

EVENT: FREE Tarot Readings For The New Year

Location: MMC Bookshop & Tarot, Witches Island

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/witchfest/47/230/701

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merilee Avatar Now Available!



Ever wanted to be a mermaid? Would you like to enter the fantasy world of Shifting Tides? Now you can! Announcing the release of the Merilee avatar mermaid set! Available only at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Riverchapel/13/60/4

Swim the warm Caribbean waters and explore the underwater world of my bestselling trilogy as depicted in my trade paperback, Shifting Tides! The adventure awaits—if you dare!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Open Season Slated for February Release

I received a very welcome email in my inbox this morning from my publisher. My novella, Open Season (part of the upcoming Dragon Pax from Amber Heat) is slated for a February 2012 release. What a nice birthday present!

The BDSM novella is set in an alternate universe where dragon shape shifters and humans fought a savage war over rights to a colony. Twenty five years later, there is an unsteady truce between the two species.

Here's the blurb:

A submissive-in-training, Season knows the boundaries, but that doesn't stop her from crossing them, or from falling in love with her master and wanting more. When the ban against life-mating between humans and Dragonkind is lifted, she jumps at the chance to enter the ritual hunt and claim her master as mate. Despite the dangers and risks, she knows their love is worth it, even if her masterful dragon doesn't.

Quinn knew accepting the position as General of the Dragon Army came with risks and that his enemies would look for any weakness they could use against him. But he never realized how fast lust could turn to love, or desire to need.

When an old foe from the war notices Quinn’s growing attraction and deeper involvement with Season, Quinn is caught between two difficult choices. Pretend indifference to the woman he’s grown to love, or enter the Solstice Hunt and risk everything to claim his human mate.
Once I have a cover to share, I'll post it on my blog and website. I'm very excited about this story and am so happy it will be part of an Amber Pax anthology! The other authors in the anthology with me are April Reid, Lynn Lorenz, Lyndi Lamont, and Deirdre O'Dare.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Birthday Bliss for Sis



Yesterday was my oldest sister's birthday and I took her out for a movie and dinner. She wanted to see The Help, so we checked and that movie is already gone from the major theaters in our area, but found it still playing at Village 8! Yay!

If you haven't seen The Help, it's a wonderful character driven ensemble film about doing the right thing and standing up for what you believe in and know is right.

I would recommend it to anyone who loves a great movie and doesn't need special effects and explosions to enjoy a flick.I also recommend reading the book first, since it's even better. :-)

After the movie, we went to Texas Roadhouse for her birthday dinner. I let her choose and was surprised when she suggested a steakhouse, since she usually picks a Chinese restaurant when given a chance. The food was delicious. I loved my baked potato and salad, and she said her steak was perfection. :-)

I gave her the presents Bear and I had bought for her, a lovely little kitty angel Santa pin with bells and yarn, and a Homedics heated foot massaging cordless machine. She seemed to like the presents. :)

When I got home I found some packages on my doorstep and several holiday cards. I admit I was beyond surprised. Bear placed them all in my lap and I sat in my chair weepy eyed at the generous outpouring of love and kindness from my friends.

I don't like to talk about it much, but if you've been reading this blog for a while, you may have seen glimpses, hints of why my life has been a giant kick in the teeth rollercoaster ride for the last three or four years, starting with my cancer diagnosis back in 2008. Add to that my mother's increasing illness and her death in 2010, and my situation with my home and with Bear (2010 and ongoing) and well—like I said, it's been a tough road and a rough ride.

I have hope and belief that next year will be better. I know my life will undergo major changes and things will be crazy and sad and difficult, but I also know that I am not alone and I have some amazing and incredible friends out there and with the love and caring of my family and my beloved friends and fans, I will get through it all.

With much love,
Cass "C.C."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Decorating

I'm hopeless when it comes to decorating, but I'm fortunate that I have friends who aren't. They were born with wicked skillz and display them in style. I'm luckier still that several of those friends are happy to lend a hand, be it in RL or SL.

I may have to *kidnap* Cora, Linda, and Jan, and have them help me get my house all purdy for visitors. lol.

Speaking of SL, check out the neat winter decorations my friend Jan did for my pal Kimberly Menozzi's booth at the book fayre.

Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, December 9, 2011

No, You Cannot Have My Feedback

I am getting tired of surveys and pollsters and people wanting my feedback. I know it will only take a few minutes out of my day, but I have been feeling ick and the last thing I want to do is be questioned by a machine, grilled about my choices in life. I want face to face interaction if I'm going to divulge my odd shopping habits or my quirky political views.

They tempt us with offers and possibilities to win cash, but then bombard us with spam and the offers always have a catch and the cash...? I've never seen any of it.

With the political machine gearing up for another garbage fest of spoon-feeding the public, I know next year will be worse and my senses will be assaulted with pollsters trying to determine if I swing left or right or if I hang down the middle. ::shakes head at the mess our society fell into::

My wish for the new year would be that the crazy ride would stop for a few minutes and let off the passengers (we the people) because I know I'm not alone in thinking the chaos needs to stop and the idiots in charge of our lives need to leave us alone.

Like that'll ever happen. Haha.

In the meanwhile, I am tooning out. Yep, I said it. Tooning. Tom and Jerry are more appealing. :p

Until next time,
Cass

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Welcome Guest Author Kimberly Menozzi


When I say "Italy", what pops into your mind?

Handsome men? Beautiful women? Amazing food? Rome? Venice? Florence?

All of the above?

When I think of Italy, of course, I think "Home". Italy is where I've lived for the last eight years, where I married my husband, and where I wrote (and set) my novel, Ask Me if I'm Happy. It is a place I've come to know quite well, to love and to hate at the same time. It's a place I can't wait to leave every summer, and a place I can't stand to be away from once I'm gone.

I never planned on living here, though. Italy never even registered on my "radar" when I plotted and planned out my life. I thought at best I'd end up in England, but instead I overshot and landed here in northern Italy, all because of chance.

I loved England so much, and after my first visit (in 2002) I started writing a novel set there. I soon was introduced to the music of the Britpop band called Pulp, and their music influenced that novel quite heavily. By chance I found a web forum dedicated to Pulp, and I shared some of that novel with the people I met there. In May of 2003 – and who would've thought it could happen? – one of those people was so moved by what he read that he felt he had to contact me and tell me how he felt.

Even though he lived in Italy and I was living in Tennessee, we fell in love sight unseen (save for a few photos we exchanged) via our forum messages, e-mails and phone calls. The first time I saw him in person was in August of 2003 at the Knoxville airport, and that was the moment I knew I'd marry him.

When he asked me to come to Italy for Christmas it was impossible to say 'No'. I took a flight from Atlanta and arrived in Bologna on December 23rd. Just over two months later, in February of 2004, we got married in the city hall of his Italian hometown, which has now become my hometown, too.

And there my love-hate relationship with Italy really began. The joys and frustrations of living here could fill not just novels, but encyclopedias. Volumes and volumes of the written word couldn't contain them all.

A few years after I arrived here, I started writing what I planned to be a short story. In it, a woman named Emily was stranded in Bologna – the capitol of the region (Emilia-Romagna) where I live – by a transportation strike. When a kind stranger named Davide offered her some help, she connected with him more deeply than she ever imagined possible. But the short story kept growing and growing, refusing to be curtailed by the restrictions I tried to enforce. I gave in and that short story grew into the novel it is today.

Now, Ask Me if I'm Happy is many different things: a love story celebrating the connections we make slightly later in life; a tale set in a city seldom explored in other stories; a virtual love letter to Bologna; a heartfelt paean to a place which has come to mean so much to me in spite of all its flaws and frustrations which sometimes hide its charms.

I immersed myself in the world of these characters as I wrote. I considered the meals they ate, where they lived, how they dressed. I knew their political opinions, their personal prejudices, their dreams and aspirations. I understood why they were the way they were, why they'd chosen their friends and how they'd made their enemies (for lack of a better word).

They were always with me, sharing their experiences and their stories, my constant companions for two years. I saw them everywhere – in the piazzas, in the restaurants and shops, even the school where I teach English. I heard their voices in the street, or in the crowds. I dreamed about them, thought about them as though they were real people. Frequently, I wished they were. They were people I'd love to know in real life, if only I could.

Then the book was finished. I polished and shaped the story, still thinking of Emily and Davide, still living in their world right up to the moment when all the work was done, and the book was sent to my (then) publisher to be brought out into the world.

I missed them so desperately I wondered how I would cope. A new story beckoned, with new characters, set in a world completely different from the one I'd inhabited in my head for so long. I fretted that I'd never be able to bring these newcomers to life – not like I'd been able to do for Emily and Davide – and that I'd never be able to go into their world as deeply as I had before.

In time, I no longer heard Emily's voice. Davide wasn't hovering at his own desk behind mine anymore. I was alone, and it hurt. I focused on other things, started researching my new story, started writing new blogs for promotion and kept worrying I wouldn't connect with these new companions as I had the others.

And then, one day, it happened. I heard a voice whispering in another room. I sat and waited for it to become clearer: an accent I couldn't pin down, unfamiliar as it was, telling a story. I listened closely, went to the door and tried the doorknob. It turned, not easily, but I was able to open the door and peer inside.

Federico and Abby stood there, whispering to one another. His voice was louder than hers at first; he was more confident, more determined to be heard. Soon enough, she began to speak up, too, and the story began to flow.

That was a little over two years ago. Their story has been plagued with stops-and-starts and my real-life personal tragedies and losses have threatened to overwhelm them more than once. Still, they've held on through everything. Now they are my constant companions, speaking their piece and demanding to have their stories told. It's going to be very hard to let them go when the time comes.

But Emily and Davide are lurking around the corner with new tales to tell.

I can't wait to see them again.


___

Links:

Website: http://www.kmenozzi.com
Author page on Amazon.com: http://tiny.cc/xirxo
Blog: http://www.kmenozzi.com/blog.html
Smashwords page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/kmenozzi

Ask Me… excerpt Chapter One (in full): http://www.kmenozzi.com/excerpt-ask-me-if-im-happy.html

Ask Me… excerpt Chapter Two: http://www.kmenozzi.com/ask-me-if-im-happy-excerpt-2.html

Ask Me… excerpt Chapter Four (sensual): http://www.kmenozzi.com/excerpt-ask-me-if-im-happy---chapter-sixteen.html