New Year, New Books, New Resolutions

It’s a new year and I don’t know about you but I’ve had to increase my book budget to handle all the cool releases coming out this year. Even with grad school I have a goal to read at least three books a month that are non-school related. For me, with my day job as a TV and Film critic, books are my last escape. And I noticed last year that I was lucky if I read a book a month. That’s crazy. We have some great releases from some of my pals this month so let’s get going…

The Perfect DishWriting THE PERFECT DISH was an exercise in rebellion for author Kristen Painter, who is one of my favorite people in the world. “At the time, the older heroine, younger man scenario just wasn’t being done,” Painter says. “In fact, I was told not to write it that way because it wasn’t marketable, but I’m stubborn and telling me not to do something rarely works. I also felt like a heroine of forty-four wasn’t in any way old – I know a lot of women who are forty and older that are amazing in every way. Why don’t those women deserve to be heroines? Why don’t they deserve to be swept off their feet? I think they do! And so The Perfect Dish flew off my keyboard and onto the page. And now it’s available so readers can decide for themselves if a hot younger chef and an equally hot older woman can stir up a little magic in the kitchen.”

The Education of Hailey KendrickThe lovely Eileen Cook has a new Young Adult book out, “THE EDUCATION OF HAILEY KENDRICK.” “Part of the inspiration for this book came out of a discussion with friends,” Cook says. “We were talking about how we tend to define ourselves in terms of the relationships around us. We are someone’s sister, daughter, friend, girlfriend etc and how their views of us shapes how we view ourselves. I became intrigued with the idea of writing about a character who loses the relationships that define her and has to decide who she is without those, as well as, how far she would go to have those relationships back.”

Love Me to DeathI’m beginning to wonder if the amazing Allison Brennan ever sleeps. Her latest, LOVE ME TO DEATH, is the first book of the Lucy Kincaid romantic suspense series. Lucy is a fan favorite, and is now waiting to hear whether she’s been accepted into the FBI,” Brennan says. “In the meantime, she works for a victim rights group. The series will follow Lucy from the very beginning of her career, along with her love interest, Sean Rogan. Sean is the first hero I’ve written who walked onto the page and just took over. I didn’t have to work to figure him out, as soon as I was in his head I just knew him.

I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun writing a hero.”

Sex On The SlopesIn case you missed it, Susan Lyons’ December release “SEX ON THE SLOPES” is one hot read. “Everyone knows writers have to do research,” Lyons says, “and usually I hate it, but not when it came to finding recipes for the four signature drinks in my Whistler-set Sex on the Slopes. I did a lot of tasting! The final recipes for sex on the slopes, fire and ice, a slippery slope, and a bad boy are in the book and on my website. Judge for yourself.”

Earl Of DarknessEARL OF DARKNESS is a historical-paranormal set in Regency Ireland. “My latest foray into the world of the Fey-blood Other began as a passing reference in a previous book,” says author Alix Rickloff. “But it was soon clear the children of the murdered earl of Kilronan deserved a series of their own as they struggle against the fallout from the evil their father unleashed before his death. The first book in the trilogy traces Aidan Douglas, the heir to his father’s title and his magic in the form of a mysterious diary, and Cat O’Connell, the beautiful woman hired to steal it. Together, lord and thief race to understand the dark secrets contained within the book even as they struggle against a passion that both know can only end in disaster.”

Surrender To DarknessSURRENDER TO DARKNESS is Annette McCleave’s new book. “From the moment Jamie Murdoch took out a bad guy in my second Soul Gatherer novel only to have the fellow tumble down the stairs with all the racket of a bag of bowling balls, I loved him,” McCleave says. “He’s large, impatient, unapologetic, and in a constant struggle to control his inner berserker. He’s happiest when he’s in the thick of battle, surrounded by enemies. In fact, he died that way, on the west coast of Scotland back in the 13th century. Yes, I said died. Murdoch is an immortal Soul Gatherer who works for Death, fending off demons to ensure the souls of the departed reach their ultimate destination.”

Also don’t miss the Anthology WISHING ON A BLUE STAR with stories from Lex Valentine and several others. The stories were either written for or inspired by author Patric Michael, who has cancer. And the second to the last book, WOLFE TALES 11 from Kate Douglas debuts this month. She gets downright presidential in this one.

Happy New Year!


Candace Havens is a columnist for FYI Television, an online news and media service, where she writes five weekly columns for an overall audience of 44 million readers. She is also an entertainment reporter for 96.3 KSCS in Fort Worth. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is the author of the Charmed & Dangerous series including CHARMED & READY, CHARMED & DANGEROUS, CHARMED & DEADLY, and LIKE A CHARM as well as the Caruthers sisters: DRAGONS PREFER BLONDES and THE DEMON KING AND I. Her latest books in her “Dare” series will be in stores this spring: SHE WHO DARES, WINS (April 2011), TRUTH AND DARE (May 2011), and still available in e-book: TAKE ME IF YOU DARE.

Her non-fiction prose includes JOSS WHEDON: THE GENIUS BEHIND BUFFY, and essays in ALIAS ASSUMED: SEX, LIES AND SD-6, and FIVE SEASONS OF ANGEL.

You can visit Candy daily at her blog or her website

Candy Havens | Fall Season in Full Swing for Movies, Television and Books…

We’ve had a lot of books to movies/TV this fall. Have you seen The Walking Dead on AMC? In case you were wondering there are zombies on that series but that isn’t really what it’s about. It’s really about people trying to survive in rather extraordinary circumstances. Some films we’ve seen so far from books include Freakonomics, Let Me In, The Social Network (based on THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONAIRES), It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Secretariat, Conviction, Red and others.

There are even more in November. I can’t wait for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, and I’m also looking forward to Fair Game [book] and Love & Other Drugs. Oh, and if you haven’t seen 127 Hours or read the story, you need to. It’s about what happened to mountain climber and caynoneer Aron Ralston (James Franco) who was trapped in a canyon for several days. Danny Boyle directs and it’s one of the best films you’ll see this year.

On another note: You guys we’re getting very close to the holidays. I don’t know about you, but I’m so not ready. My favorite thing to do this time of year, especially when it’s nippy outside, is to curl up by the fireplace and read a great book. Though, between the shopping, cooking and oh, the working, that isn’t always easy. (Smile) I have some wonderful new releases from my pals you should check out.

MONTANA GLORY“I had so much fun writing about these three cousins,” says R.C. Ryan about her Fools Gold Series, and their search for their ancestors’ lost treasure, while stumbling into love, as well.This third book, MONTANA GLORY, is about Zane McCord, who spent his growing-up years in Hollywood, and has begun his own documentary about the search for the lost gold while carrying his share of the ranch chores.A really fascinating character, as is Riley Mason, a single mother who hopes to find refuge from danger on an isolated ranch in Montana.But danger finds her, along with her daughter, Summer, and the entire McCord family, who are drawn into the web of intrigue.”

ENEMY WITHINIMPULSIVEMarcella Burnard’s first science fiction romance, ENEMY WITHIN, is out from Berkley Sensations. “The fencing match (swords and words) from chapter three came to me in a flash one evening and I was hooked,” Burnard says. “It was so much fun, I had to write it down. Scenes just kept popping into my head, usually at 2 a.m., much to my husband’s annoyance. Somewhere in the middle of writing it, the story took a turn down a rough, dark alley. My light, fun-loving seed of an idea grew up into a serious book about one woman’s determination to reclaim her shattered life.”

Helen Kay Dimon has a new one called IMPULSIVE. “The book is set in Hawaii…is there a more inspiring place?” Kay asks. “Just the name conjures up an image.Mix sun, water and the beach with a straight-laced attorney hero and a wild child heroine and you get a special kind of heat.”Lex Valentine has two out this month, Rock My World and the novella After Burner. “The first one, Rock My World is about a 37-year-old rock star who falls for her 8-years younger opening act,” Valentine says. “I had to pick my husband’s brain about roadie stuff and how they set up for concerts. He kept asking me if I patterned the hot younger hero after him since he’s 6 years younger than me and I used to sing in a band! The second one, Afterburner, is about two Air Force pilots who fall in love. It’s in a DADT anthology from MLR Press called Honorable Silence. I saw Rachel Maddow’s interview with an F-16 pilot and an F-15 pilot after my book was in my editor’s hands and I was shocked at how closely I had nailed the emotions of these men who are not allowed to acknowledge their partners. It’s just heartbreaking.”

MURDER TO MIL-SPECEX-WIVES, EXTORTION AND EROTIC FIRST EDITIONSEX-WIVES, EXTORTION AND EROTIC FIRST EDITIONS is the latest from J.L. Wilson. “The book starts at a used bookstore I used to frequent when I lived in Pittsburgh,” Wilson says, “a charming old house stuffed full of books. Staffed by volunteers. The proceeds went to a scholarship fund. I spent many a Saturday afternoon wandering those rooms, searching for an escape (after a particularly nasty divorce). When I started writing romantic mysteries (what I call “very cozy mysteries” because there’s a bit of steam in them) I wanted to use that store because it had so much personality.

Also look for Janis Susan May’s story Danger from Within, which is part of the MURDER TO MIL-SPEC charity anthology. The proceeds from the sales of the book go to Homes For Our Troops. May also has a children’s book, Danny and the Dustbunnies out for the younger crowd. Francis Ray has a new one, Heart of the Falcon, and Phoebe Conn’s latest is DEFY THE WORLD TOMATOES.

So, try these and I’ll be back with more in December…Candy


Candace Havens is a columnist for FYI Television, an online news and media service, where she writes five weekly columns for an overall audience of 44 million readers. She is also an entertainment reporter for 96.3 KSCS in Fort Worth. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is the author of the Charmed & Dangerous series including CHARMED & READY, CHARMED & DANGEROUS, CHARMED & DEADLY, and LIKE A CHARM as well as the Caruthers sisters: DRAGONS PREFER BLONDES and THE DEMON KING AND I. Her latest book, TAKE ME IF YOU DARE is in stores in February 2010.

Her non-fiction prose includes JOSS WHEDON: THE GENIUS BEHIND BUFFY, and essays in ALIAS ASSUMED: SEX, LIES AND SD-6, and FIVE SEASONS OF ANGEL.

You can visit Candy daily at her blog or her website

Candy’s Inside Books | September = Fall Season Preview and Great Reads

It’s September. I can’t believe we are already into fall. Not only is school starting, it’s also time for the new television season. In October Discovery ID is doing a whole series, Hardcover Mysteries with authors Harlan Coben, Sandra Brown, David Baldacci, Kathy Reichs, Lisa Scottoline, Joseph Wambaugh and Sara Paretsky and others. They’ll be sharing stories about mysteries that have confounded investigators..

The new CW drama Hellcats is based on the book CHEER by Kate Torgovnick, and the show stars Ashley Tisdale and Alyson Michalka. This is one of those series that surprised me by how good it is. The cheer and dance sequences are fun to watch, and there’s a great deal drama and college-aged angst. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Overall, this is a pretty good season. Maybe not as strong as last year, but there is definitely a wide variety of shows from which to choose, and some great ones in the mix.

That’s enough about television. I have a ton of books to tell you about this month, so let’s get to it.

SINS OF SOULI love me some Eve Silver and she doesn’t disappoint with SINS OF THE SOULS, the second book in the Otherkin trilogy. “I loved writing this gritty, dark story because it gave me the opportunity to delve into the mythology of ancient civilizations including Egyptian, Japanese, Norse and Greek. I spent many happy hours at the museum checking out the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Writing this story also gave me the chance to skirt the definitions of good and evil. Alastor Krayl is a soul reaper. Naphre Kurata is an unwilling assassin. It was great fun watching two beings who believe themselves to be purely evil find out that maybe there’s just a little bit of good inside after all.”

IMMORTAL SEA“Did you ever look at your teenager and wonder what the heck happened to your formerly cooperative, loving child?” Asks Virginia Kantra. “Their bodies are changing in ways they don’t understand. Their attitudes are changing in ways we have a tough time accepting. My experience with my own boys was the inspiration for IMMORTAL SEA, where doctor/mom Liz Rodriguez must cope with a teenage son who is coming of age in ways neither of them could imagine.”

Captured by desireKira Morgan’s CAPTURED BY DESIRE is one I can’t wait to check out. “I like romantic challenges,” Morgan says, “and star crossed lovers. What could be more challenging than getting a woman to fall in love with a man who just shot her? In CAPTURED BY DESIRE, when the queen’s jeweler, Florie Gilder, accidentally ends up on the receiving end of huntsman Rane MacAllister’s arrow, it’s an uphill battle for him to earn her trust and for her to win his heart.”

Dedeviled AngelHave you had a chance to check out Annette Blair’s new A Works Like Magick series? BEDEVILED ANGEL is definitely worth a look-see. “I set out to describe Everlasting (my word for heaven) in such a way as to console readers who have lost someone, giving our departed a purpose, and love, even in death,” Blair says. “I also included a cherub nursery for babies who passed and made sure that the rainbow bridge was nearby so our lost pets had plenty of playtime. Also, in BEDEVILED ANGEL, God is a woman.”

Size MattersIf you’re looking for a sexy read check out Stephanie Julian’s novella in SIZE MATTERS. “Remember that tabloid you used to see while waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store with Big Foot Swimming at the Jersey Shore or Dinosaurs Rampaging through Central Park?” asks Julian. “As a journalist, I got the biggest kick out of that so-called newspaper. I knew it was for entertainment purposes only. But someone, somewhere, got to write stories about trolls invading suburban malls and housewives having Elvis to dinner. That’s how my novella was born. Carrie Benton is a writer who thinks she has the best job in the world making up stories about El Chupacabra and Bigfoot. She just never expected them to be real.”

Assassin's heart“I have a love of ancient eras, particularly Egypt and Rome,” says author Monica Burns. “When my agent suggested I write a paranormal I had no idea of what to write. So I decided to just sit down and write. I came up with five pages of an erotic scene between an ancient Roman general and his wife. Talk about a head banging moment. I was supposed to write a paranormal not an ancient historical. I put those five pages aside until I began writing ASSASSIN’S HEART. I really wanted to write the back-story of how my Sicari assassins had evolved over the centuries, but wasn’t sure how. I’d already written about ten chapters of the book, which my wonderful beta reader sent back and said, love you, but the book sucks. I adore her! Suddenly, I remembered my ancient Roman couple, and how I could have my cake and eat it too. With those five pages I’d been clinging to since 2005, I was able to “fix” the book AND show the origins of the Sicari all in one fell swoop. To meld a small piece of writing one loves into a book as an integral piece of the story doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s truly a satisfying experience. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I’m a writer. It makes me happy.”

You should also check out books by Melanie Dickerson (THE HEALER’S APPRENTICE), Sandrine O’Shea (THE COURTESAN’S BED), J. L. Wilson (LIVING PROOF) and Marie-Nicole Ryan (LOVE ME IF YOU CAN)

So, try these and I’ll be back with more in October…Candy


Candace Havens is a columnist for FYI Television, an online news and media service, where she writes five weekly columns for an overall audience of 44 million readers. She is also an entertainment reporter for 96.3 KSCS in Fort Worth. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is the author of the Charmed & Dangerous series including CHARMED & READY, CHARMED & DANGEROUS, CHARMED & DEADLY, and LIKE A CHARM as well as the Caruthers sisters: DRAGONS PREFER BLONDES and THE DEMON KING AND I. Her latest book, TAKE ME IF YOU DARE is in stores in February 2010.

Her non-fiction prose includes JOSS WHEDON: THE GENIUS BEHIND BUFFY, and essays in ALIAS ASSUMED: SEX, LIES AND SD-6, and FIVE SEASONS OF ANGEL.

You can visit Candy daily at her blog or her website

Tell us what you think — Comments

Summer Blockbusters…Books, Films and more in July

candace havensWhat are you guys thinking about the new season of “True Blood?” I like that executive producer and creator Alan Ball takes liberties with the story. And what did you think of “Eclipse?” I’m a fan of the film franchise and the series of books. I feel like director David Slade did a great job with pacing in the film. There’s angsty romance, but it’s mixed with some stellar action. He took the best elements of the books made some twists here and there, and created what may be my favorite of three films. In fact, I liked the film better than the book.

There are several other books made into films this summer including BEEZUS AND RAMONA BEASTLY, EAT, PRAY, LOVE, SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD and “The Switch”. It’s always interesting to see how the adaptations work. Out of all the films coming out this summer, I’m most looking forward to “Eat, Pray, Love.” I really hope they don’t screw it up.

0425233138One series I wish they would turn into movies or a television show is Annette Blair’s Vintage Magic. The third installment is DEATH BY DIAMONDS. “I was having a discussion about my second mystery with my Berkley editor,” Blair says. “I had finished the book, but we couldn’t settle on a title we both liked. Finally, she came back from speaking to the publisher and gave me two choices. ‘It’s either LARCENY AND LACE or DEATH BY DIAMONDS,’ she said, and flash! I chose Larceny and Lace for book two, because having heard the words, Death by Diamonds, I had a plot for book three. It was as simple as that. I reserved the title because it told me who the third mystery would be about, how the victim would die, and why. I wish all plots came that easily.

I asked Blair to give us some more details about the series and new books.

Q. Is it true that there is a certain kiss in DEATH BY DIAMONDS that became secondary to the search for Dom’s killer, to everyone except perhaps the man Madeira kissed?

A. There is, and while Madeira has some explaining to do, she turned her mind to solving the mystery of how Dominique DeLong Broadway Star, one of her dearest friends, was murdered on stage, in front of hundreds of people, during the final act of the final performance of Diamond Sands.

Q. Where does the book take place?

A. It takes place both in Mystic Connecticut and in New York City, on and off Broadway.

Q. What did Dominique DeLong call her ‘hangers on,’ a group of people who sucked her dry in every way possible, and lined up for more, like every dime they could get, at the reading of her will?

A: Those would be The Parasites, her ex husband, her catty best friend, her understudy, her sponsor, leading man, hairdresser, and makeup artist. They’re a good-sized group of leeches.

Q. Is it true that you were recently interviewed in Mystic, Connecticut by the official student documentarians for the Library of Congress because you set your Vintage Magic Mystery Series there?

A. Absolutely. We met at Mystic Pizza, across from Madeira Cutler’s vintage dress shop, for an interview that will be aired on public television in the coming months on a date to be announced. It was an exciting adventure for me.

There is a great deal in the mailbag this week, so let’s get to it:

0373176694Next time Susan Meier has to work on a book, I’m inviting her to my house. “I actually scrubbed (or housecleaned) most mornings before I began working on the two books ‘MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE and MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD, says Meier. “I wanted to be able to freshly smell the scents of cleaners and soaps and feel what a maid would feel. Sounds silly, but there’s nothing like bringing reality into a story!”

1420111744Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, DeWanna Pace and Phyliss Miranda have a new anthology out, GIVE ME A TEXAS RANGER. Who could resist a title like that? I began work on ‘One Woman, One Ranger’ with a duel purpose,” says Miranda. “I didn’t want to write just a romance with a Texas Ranger hero, but about one who found love. I wanted my story to reflect the ideals that brought peace to the untamed frontier; the strengths and traditions that made the famous, respected organization the lawmen they are today.”

“When we decided to write an anthology featuring Texas Ranger heroes,” adds Linda Broday, “I knew my character Ranger Stoney Burke needed a big challenge. So I put a woman in his life that would really get under his tough skin in a huge way. I had so much fun making him squirm.”

Bella Andre has a new one out called LOVE ME. “Five years ago, TAKE ME, my first full-length novel was published,” says Andre. “As Lily and Travis fell in love in, Lily’s sister, Janica, and Travis’s twin brother, Luke, met a couple of times over the course of the story to do some strategizing regarding their siblings relationship. There were, as you might imagine, pretty big sparks between Luke and Janica. Not only have I’ve wanted to write Luke and Janica’s story for five years, but readers have been emailing me about it for five years, asking when it was finally going to be out. Honestly, I enjoyed writing this story so much – especially after thinking about these characters for so long – that I almost didn’t want to have to finally write ‘the end.’”

Other books to check out in July include Gena Showalter’s THE DARKEST LIE, Juniper Bell’s My Three Lords, Lex Valentine’s TALES OF THE DARKWORLD, and Yasmine Galenorn’s NIGHT MYST.

Until next month…


Candace Havens is a columnist for FYI Television, an online news and media service, where she writes five weekly columns for an overall audience of 44 million readers. She is also an entertainment reporter for 96.3 KSCS in Fort Worth. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is the author of the Charmed & Dangerous series including CHARMED & READY, CHARMED & DANGEROUS, CHARMED & DEADLY, and LIKE A CHARM as well as the Caruthers sisters: DRAGONS PREFER BLONDES and THE DEMON KING AND I. Her latest book, TAKE ME IF YOU DARE is in stores in February 2010.

Her non-fiction prose includes JOSS WHEDON: THE GENIUS BEHIND BUFFY, and essays in ALIAS ASSUMED: SEX, LIES AND SD-6, and FIVE SEASONS OF ANGEL.

You can visit Candy daily at her blog or her website

Candy’s Inside Books | Beach Books for June…

It can’t possibly be June already. Wasn’t it just February? I should be grateful for the warmer weather and the lazy days of summer, but unfortunately there isn’t much time to laze these days. (Smile) I did make myself a promise, and that is reading at least one book a weekend. So far I’m averaging two, and I have to say it’s the one way I can get my brain off of my crazy life and send it into a lovely new world someone else has created.

There are tons of fun books and here are a few for you to check out:

BLOOD SONGBLOOD SONG is the first of a new series by Cat Adams (formerly C.T. Adams & Cathy Clamp). This is the story of Celia Graves, a vanilla human trying to get by in a paranormal world. “But Celia’s life is rocked when she’s bitten by a master vampire and becomes half human and half vampire,” says Clamp. “Celia’s world was first developed in an unusual fashion. There’s a saying: ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’ Well, in the case of this book, a picture was worth a hundred thousand words. Cie Adams and Cathy Clamp were attending FenCon, a SF/F convention near Dallas, Texas, several years ago. One of the big hooks of this particular convention is the art auction for charity. Science fiction and fantasy artists from all over the world donate paintings, photos and other creative works and one in particular caught Cie’s eye. It was one of those works that you can’t tell at first whether it’s a photo or a painting. It was entitled ‘Sweet but Deadly’ and showed a blonde female vampire holding a black daisy between her fangs. The picture was the inspiration for the heroine and even though it took us months to find the artist (actually, a photographer—it’s a manipulated self-portrait) our editor agreed it was just perfect for the cover. The artist became our cover artist and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

If you want to see the inspiration for the cover of ‘BLOOD SONG,’ here’s a link to the photographer’s works. The original photo is on the second row, third from the right side (look for the black daisy). And feel free to wander around her other works. We’d love for the artist to get more recognition for her amazing talent.”

NIGHT MYSTYasmine Galenorn is excited for readers to see her latest project. NIGHT MYST, the first in my new Indigo Court Series, begins the saga of Cicely Waters—a witch who can control the wind,” Galenorn says. “Cicely returns to New Forest, Wa. to protect her aunt and cousin, and to find her long-lost love—Grieve, a Fae Prince now captured by Myst, queen of the Indigo Court. In fact, the entire town of New Forest, Wa. is being held hostage by the growing evil of Myst and her sadistic people. The true vampires—who were responsible for creating the demonic hybrid of Fae and Vampire, enlist Cicely to help them in the long prophesized war between the two races. One of the serendipitous moments for me is that owls play a huge part in the book (and the upcoming books), barred owls in particular. A couple of months ago, I joined the millions on the Net following the saga of Molly the Owl. A couple in southern California set up an owl box in their backyard, and an owl came to lay her eggs there. They called her Molly, and had set up a cameras in and out of the box. The second day I clicked over to see what Molly was up to, I was just in time to watch two of the eggs hatch! Within a week, all four were hatched. So began my captivation with Molly and her four owlets. Now, two months later, two of the owlets have taken wing and sped to their own lives, and the other two are close to doing so. Watching Molly has been a double blessing—a living meditation and delight, but also book fodder because Molly is a barred owl, and what better research could I find than to just watch her babies grow and learn to fly and eat and spit up owl pellets?”

SEX AND THE SINGLE EARLVanessa Kelly has a new one out, SEX AND THE SINGLE EARL. “I had just turned in my Regency-set historical manuscript to my editor,” Kelly says. “The title at the time of submission was ‘AN ANGEL FOR THE EARL,’ which I loved. My heroine, Sophie, is a sweet but strong-willed character, with a very kind heart. In fact, she’s a bit of a do-gooder, so the title seemed perfect to me. But not to my editor. ‘Not sexy enough,’ was his response. He definitely wanted sexy. Muttering curses under my breath, I went to consult with my husband, who has a knack for these kinds of things. As it was cocktail hour, we cracked open a bottle of wine and went to work. An hour later, the muse had still not struck. Finally, as a joke, my husband said, “what about Sex And The Single Earl?” After we stopped laughing, I sent it to my editor – as a joke. He answered immediately, also laughing. But then we both said, hey, wait a minute. We kind of like it. So we stuck with it and you know what? People love this title.”

DANE, THE LORDS OF SATYRElizabeth Amber says, “I’m enthralled by the stories of how partners in a couple first met – even if I don’t know them well – or at all. It’s the romantic in me. And it’s why I so enjoy the Bravo reality series ‘Millionaire Matchmaker.’ In my June release, DANE, THE LORDS OF SATYR, I get to play matchmaker myself, through the character of my heroine, Eva. Dane and his brothers are half-satyr men living in Rome circa 1880s, where they are in danger of discovery by humankind at any moment. To further entrench themselves in Roman society, they must choose human wives. A matchmaker is dispatched from their world to assist in this. But when Dane meets his matchmaker—Eva—he also meets his match. Both are troubled by mysterious secrets in their pasts that make them perfect for one another. I loved having a part in bringing these two together.”

DARK ORACLEAlayna William’s book DARK ORACLE was inspired by something mystical. “I’d been wanting to write a story about Tarot cards for some time, but was struggling about who the heroine should be,” says Williams. “I knew that she would be a criminal profiler who uses Tarot cards to solve crimes, but I didn’t know anything more about her personality than that. So, I picked up my Tarot deck, shuffled, and drew the Queen of Swords from the top. The Queen of Swords depicts a woman staring into a stormy sky, holding a lifted sword as if she’s cut herself with it. The swords, in general, represent intellect. The Queen of swords traditionally represents sadness and mourning or a particularly clever woman. I always associated her with the Snow Queen from fairy tales. And that interpretation was perfect for the story. The Queen of Swords became my inspiration for Tara Sheridan. Whenever I got stuck in the story, I pulled out the deck and used the cards as prompts. I used the same method for the hero, Agent Harry Li. I picked the Knight of Pentacles, who’s a pragmatic man. Since Pentacles are also referred to as coins in many decks, I gave Harry the nervous habit of jingling change in his suit pocket.”

VEGAS TWO STEPLiz Talley cracks me up with her story of how she came up with the story for her new book. “Ever wear sandals with pantyhose? Well, yeah, maybe in the 80s,” says Talley. “But that’s how I got the idea for my June debut release VEGAS TWO STEP. Crazy, huh? I was attending the 2007 RWA National conference in Candace’s hometown and watched my roommate slip on a pair of sandals with her knee-highs. I remember thinking, “Why’s she doing that? It’s too hot for hose in Texas!” Well, the image stuck in my mind for some reason and later that day when I attended a workshop where the editor allowed attendees to scribble down pitches on a piece of paper, I found myself writing a pitch for a small town Texas librarian who gets made fun of for wearing knee highs with her espadrilles, so she goes to Vegas, gets a sexy makeover, and has a fling with a hot nightclub owner. The workshop editor never called me, but the character just begged to be written. So VEGAS TWO STEP was born – a sort of twisted version of the musical ‘Grease.’ It’s a fun, spirited book just perfect for slipping off your knee-highs and grabbing a pool-side cocktail.”

So, try these and I’ll be back with more in July…Candy


Candace Havens is a columnist for FYI Television, an online news and media service, where she writes five weekly columns for an overall audience of 44 million readers. She is also an entertainment reporter for 96.3 KSCS in Fort Worth. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is the author of the Charmed & Dangerous series including CHARMED & READY, CHARMED & DANGEROUS, CHARMED & DEADLY, and LIKE A CHARM as well as the Caruthers sisters: DRAGONS PREFER BLONDES and THE DEMON KING AND I. Her latest book, TAKE ME IF YOU DARE is in stores in February 2010.

Her non-fiction prose includes JOSS WHEDON: THE GENIUS BEHIND BUFFY, and essays in ALIAS ASSUMED: SEX, LIES AND SD-6, and FIVE SEASONS OF ANGEL.

You can visit Candy daily at her blog or her website

Candy’s Inside Books | Ready for the Summer Season?

DEAD IN THE FAMILY
Candy’s Inside Books
A look at books, authors and movie events

I don’t know about you guys, but for some reason I read more in the summer. It’s not that I have more time. I think it’s more that there are so many great reads out there. First on my list re-reading Charlaine Harristhird Sookie book before “True Blood” returns on June 13. I haven’t seen the first couple of episodes yet, but they have sent me clips. Once again executive producer Alan Ball is sticking pretty close to the books, but doing his own twist with them. I’m looking forward to the “wolves” this season. Those guys really know how to stir up some trouble.

There are lots of fun books to talk about for your TBR (to be read) pile, so let’s get to it…

CHASING PERFECTTOUCHED BY AN ALIEN
Susan Mallery says her new Fool’s Gold series is something new for her. The first book is CHASING PERFECT. “Instead of setting out to write a three-book series or a four-book series, I’m creating a series with no defined ending,” Mallery says. “One of the biggest challenges that faced me as an author is keeping all the details straight from book to book. Continuity errors can pull readers out of the story, so I want to do everything I can to make sure that Fool’s Gold feels real to the readers who invest their hearts in my stories. In addtion to the character charts, I’ve created a map f the town to ensure that I’m consistent with the street names and locations of the local shops. I thought readers would enjoy the map, too, so I’ve provided it as a fun extra on the Fool’s Gold website.”

“I got the idea for TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN from a dream,” says author Gini Koch. “I’d originally intended it to be a dark short story, and I had no idea if the main character was a man or a woman. Well, from the start the story insisted on being written its own way. The voice sounded in no way dark, and by page three my MC had asserted herself. Her name is Katherine “Kitty” Katt, and I swear I had to turn away from the computer and go, “Kitty Katt? Really?” To which she replied, “My parents have a sense of humor. Keep writing.” When the male lead waltzed onto the page and shared his name with a twinkle in his eye, he charmed both me and Kitty, and the rest is history – or in this case, “TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN.”

WEDDING DRESS BLUESBLOWN AWAY
“I knew I wanted to write a sequel to my VENUS IN BLUE JEANS in which that book’s hero and heroine got married, but I didn’t really get going on it until my older son proposed to his girlfriend and the wedding planning swung into high gear,” says Meg Benjamin about her new book WEDDING BELL BLUES. Their wedding took a year to put together and I was front and center with the preparations, learning about all the stress and drama that goes into getting a large wedding headed down the aisle. Fortunately, as the mother of the groom, all I had to plan was the rehearsal dinner, but I got weekly and monthly updates from both son and his bride-to-be. I would still probably have written WEDDING BELL BLUES even if my son hadn’t gotten married when he did, but it sure made my job easier.”

Sharon Sala has three books out this summer BLOWN AWAY, TORN APART (July) and SWEPT ASIDE (August). “Living my entire life in what’s called ‘tornado alley’ by weathermen all over the nation,” Sala says, “it followed that I might be inspired to us a tornado as the tie that connects the books in my new trilogy. While my books are set in Louisiana, and not my native Oklahoma – anyone who’s lived through a tornado will tell you, it’s not where it happens so much as where you are when it hits.”

LORD LIGHTNINGMONTANA DESTINY
“The heroine of my upcoming Avon release, LORD LIGHTNING, is a Regency era astrologer,” says Jenny Brown. “I gave her and the hero real astrological charts which matched their characters as closely as possible. The best part about using real charts is that when I get stuck plotting, the characters’ charts can point me to the kinds of real life problems they might encounter. I came up with the event that drives the book’s climax by looking at the heroine’s Twelfth House–often called the House of Self-Undoing. It’s the part of the chart that describes what it is about ourselves we are unaware of.”

R.C. Ryan has a new one out in her Montana series. “The newest book MONTANA DESTINY moves forward with the McCord cousins’ story and their search for their ancestor’s fortune in gold nuggets,” Ryan says. “The gold is believed to be buried somewhere on the vast Montana rangeland they own. Of course, being sexy cowboys, they manage to catch the eye of some lovely women who want to be part of their adventure. Unfortunately, hanging out with the McCord men may get you killed.”

SEX and SINGLE EARLRIBBON OF RAIN
“I had just turned in my Regency-set historical manuscript to my editor,” says Vanessa Kelly.  “The title at the time of submission was ‘An Angel For The Earl,’ which I loved.  My heroine, Sophie, is a sweet but strong-willed character, with a very kind heart.  In fact, she’s a bit of a do-gooder, so the title seemed perfect to me.  But not to my editor!  ‘Not sexy enough,’ was his response.  He definitely wanted sexy.  Muttering curses under my breath, I went to consult with my husband, who has a knack for these kinds of things.  As it was cocktail hour, we cracked open a bottle of wine and went to work.  An hour later, the muse had still not struck.  Finally, as a joke, my husband said, “what about SEX AND THE SINGLE EARL?”  After we stopped laughing, I sent it to my editor – as a joke!  He answered immediately, also laughing.  But then we both said, hey!  Wait a minute.  We kind of like it.  So we stuck with it and you know what?  People LOVE this title.”

“I once spent several months working at a remote wilderness lodge and my romantic suspense novel RIBBON OF RAIN is a reflection of my time there,” says Pam Champagne.  “The book is total fiction, but during those months my imagination ran away with me with the possibilities of what could happen there.  Kat, my kick butt heroine became as real to me as did my atypical hero, Jude Callahan.  Mix a woodswoman with a city man and sparks do fly.

Until next month…


Candace Havens is a columnist for FYI Television, an online news and media service, where she writes five weekly columns for an overall audience of 44 million readers. She is also an entertainment reporter for 96.3 KSCS in Fort Worth. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is the author of the Charmed & Dangerous series including CHARMED & READY, CHARMED & DANGEROUS, CHARMED & DEADLY, and LIKE A CHARM as well as the Caruthers sisters: DRAGONS PREFER BLONDES and THE DEMON KING AND I. Her latest book, TAKE ME IF YOU DARE was in stores in February 2010 and still available on-line.

Her non-fiction prose includes JOSS WHEDON: THE GENIUS BEHIND BUFFY, and essays in ALIAS ASSUMED: SEX, LIES AND SD-6, and FIVE SEASONS OF ANGEL.

You can visit Candy daily at her blog or her website

Candace Havens | Exciting April Finds…

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Rosemary Clement-Moore’s books, you should. Yes, they are young adult novels, but they are fun for all ages. Highway to Hell, the third book in her Maggie Quinn: Girl versus Evil series. “Maggie and Lisa are away from parental supervisions when they head for Spring Break on the Texas Coast,” says Clement Moore. “Oh, the college freshman days, when you think you know everything. They never make it to the beach. They wreck the Jeep when they hit a cow in the middle of the road, and get stranded in a one-horse town, where folks are convinced El Chupacabra is killing their livestock. After facing demons at the prom and sorcerous sorority sisters (say that three times fast!), Maggie and Lisa think they can take on this Mexican version of Bigfoot. But it’s bigger and badder than they realize. “

Clement Moore says this book is personal. “It takes place where I was raised,” she says. “I get to incorporate South Texas culture and legends, and I’ve thrown in a hot cowboy or two. Come on, and an El Chupacabra. What’s not to love?”

Highway to Hell was named one of the 2010 Best Books for Young Adults by the American Library Association.”

Theresa Meyers went a long way to research her novel A Vampire’s Mistress, “I scoured the Capuchin catacombs underneath Palermo, Sicily, where four centuries of mummies and skeletons still reside in their burial finest on display for the public,” she says. “While the practice of laying loved ones to rest in the catacombs was outlawed in 1881, the catacombs are still a huge tourist attraction today. One of the scenes in the story involves the characters racing through the catacombs to escape vampire hunters.”

Claudia Dain says she’s a pantser, which is a writer who sits down and writes by the seat of their pants. “But I’m an organized panster,” she says. I know the characters and I know how they behave before I write one word. So imagine my shock – make that horror when the heroine for The Courtesan’s Wager started paying attention to the wrong guy. This guy was not the hero! He was a disposable (sorry, Cranleigh) secondary character. Amelia starts fizzing every time he’s in the room. He snarls. They spark. She totally ignores the hero. I try to ignore it. I mean, I’m an experienced author; I can ignore misbehaving characters, knowing I can pull them into line in the rewrites. And they kiss. And kiss. And start talking about their long back-story that I knew nothing about. I stopped writing for three weeks, afraid to go anywhere near my computer, now that I knew it was the portal to an alternate universe and all. Three weeks and one day after the Revolution, I opened up the file and continued writing, letting the characters have their way. Turns out he really was the right guy for her. Who knew?”

Barbara Freethy has two books out this month On Shadow Beach and In Shelter Cove. “I’ve set my fictional town along the California central coast,” says Freethy. “Along with a new story involving an old murder, readers will get to learn more about the town, which was born from a Gold Rush shipwreck in the 1850s. For readers enjoy quilting themes, there’s also a story quilt with twenty-four blocks, each telling the story of one of the survivors of the wreck and each square tied to the current day characters as well.”

Susan Fox says most of the action on her new book Love, Unexpectedly, takes place on a cross-Canadian train journey. “On that train ride I wanted to give Nav and Kat something special to do that would increase intimacy and help them get to know each other, so I created a bored game called Nice ‘n Naughty. One player rolls the die, lands on a square that’s labeled with a heart, diamond, club or space, then draws a card from the corresponding deck and has to answer the question on it, or do what it says. I had fun making up what the cards say. …And had even more fun thinking up Nav and Kat’s answers.”

Vickie McDonough has her first trade paperback, The Anonymous Bride, out this month. It’s the tale of a Texas town marshal who suddenly has three mail order brides arrive, each expecting to marry him. But he didn’t order a bride. “People ask me how I got this idea,” McDonough says. “It started with a ‘what if’ question. What if a mail-order bride arrived in a town to marry a man, but he never ordered a bride. Then I wondered what if the town hosted a contest to see which bride would make him the best wife? And what if instead of three entries, there were four and the last one was anonymous.” Sounds like fun to me.

Vivi Andrews says her new book The Sexorcist is filled with demons and a smokin’ hot exorcist, but the heroine really made the story sing for her. “Brittany sees silver linings everywhere, but it’s more of an ingrained coping mechanism than blind Pollyanna optimism,” says Andrews. “Born with a heart defect, her life was always limited by the constant risks to her health -but now, post-transplant, she is able to live, rather than just survive. In writing Brittany’s happy, healthy ever after, I was influenced a lot by my memories of the way my aunt’s life changed for the better following her heart surgery.”


Candace Havens is a columnist for FYI Television, an online news and media service, where she writes five weekly columns for an overall audience of 44 million readers. She is also an entertainment reporter for 96.3 KSCS in Fort Worth. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is the author of the Charmed & Dangerous series including CHARMED & READY, CHARMED & DANGEROUS, CHARMED & DEADLY, and LIKE A CHARM as well as the Caruthers sisters: DRAGONS PREFER BLONDES and THE DEMON KING AND I. Her latest book, TAKE ME IF YOU DARE is in stores in February 2010.

Her non-fiction prose includes JOSS WHEDON: THE GENIUS BEHIND BUFFY, and essays in ALIAS ASSUMED: SEX, LIES AND SD-6, and FIVE SEASONS OF ANGEL.

You can visit Candy daily at her blog or her website

CANDANCE HAVENS | Let’s Talk Academy Awards

CANDACE HAVENSTAKE ME IF YOU DAERIt’s almost time for the Academy Awards, which is a big time of year for my day job as a film critic. While I could attend as press to the awards, I prefer to stay at home and watch in my pajamas on the couch just like everyone else. If you’re press, you are usually stuck in a big tent somewhere or next door at the hotel in a ballroom where you have to listen to foreign press ask inane questions that embarrass the room. Since most of my job is done before the awards, I choose to stay home.

I thought I’d go through the list and talk about some of the folks I’d like to see win. This is not necessarily who will win, though I’ll try to help you with that too. We’ll go through the Best Picture and Acting categories and I’d also love to hear about some of your choices.

Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, “Nine”; Vera Farmiga, “Up in the Air”; Maggie Gyllenhaal, “Crazy Heart”; Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air”; Mo’Nique, “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” I think the woman to beat here is Mo’Nique, even though I despise that film, I get why people are so into this performance. Mo’Nique has a way of making this truly evil woman, pathetic and sad at the same time. It’ a raw performance and the Oscar folks like that. My pick would be Anna Kendrick, she was an absolute revelation in “Up in the Air.” A truly standout performance, but unfortunately she doesn’t have a chance.

Supporting Actor: Matt Damon, “Invictus”; Woody Harrelson, “The Messenger”; Christopher Plummer, “The Last Station”; Stanley Tucci, “The Lovely Bones”; Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds.” Waltz is the man to beat here. This is a category filled with amazing performances. Waltz picked up the Screen Actors Guild Award, and I believe he’ll be the winner here too.

Best Actor: Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”; George Clooney, “Up in the Air”; Colin Firth, “A Single Man”; Morgan Freeman, “Invictus”; Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker.” This is another tough category filled with incredible performances. Jeff Bridges won the SAG award, and I’m pretty sure he’ll pick up the Oscar. Hollywood considers him one of their under appreciated, and I think they think it’s time to honor him. It was an honest performance and I don’t have a problem with Bridges winning, but Firth would be my choice. He’s in almost every frame of “The Single Man” and he doesn’t disappoint. He can say so much with just a look. It was one of my favorite performances of the year.

Best Actress: Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side”; Helen Mirren, “The Last Station”; Carey Mulligan, “An Education”; Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious: Based on the Novel `Push’ by Sapphire”; Meryl Streep, “Julie & Julia.” Don’t get me wrong, I love Sandra Bullock, and Blindside was one of my favorite films of the year. But was her performances better than her fellow nominees? The answer is, no. Still, I think she’s a safe bet to take home the big prize. This is the toughest category for me. I know you’ve never heard of her, but Carey Mulligan gives such an amazing performance in “An Education.” For me, Meryl Streep became Julia Child. Sidibe is good in “Precious,” but she basically has one expression through the entire film, and even though she’s is supposed to be shy, it would help if she hadn’t mumbled. Helen Mirren is a bit over the top in “The Last Station,” but she’s absolutely believable. That said, I’m pretty sure Bullock is a shoe-in.

Best Picture: “Avatar,” “The Blind Side,” “District 9,” “An Education,” “The Hurt Locker,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” “A Serious Man,” “Up,” “Up in the Air.” I don’t believe “Precious” or “A Serious Man” deserve to be in the category. I get that “Precious” deals with horrific subject matter and we are supposed to believe that it is an important film, but if you break it down, it’s not a very well made film. The editing is choppy, the acting is oven over the top or non-existent, especially many of the scenes at the school. I just don’t get the love for the film beyond Mo’Nique’s performance. “A Serious Man” is a movie that just didn’t do it for me. I’m a big fan of the Coen brothers and usually enjoy their dark humor, but this movie was a self-indulgent mess.

So let’s talk about some of the films I do like. No one can deny that James Cameron hasn’t done something quite wonderful with “Avatar,” while it’s slow at times, it’s a visual gem. In “An Education” director Lone Scherfig had a deft hand with his actors performances and it’s a great coming of age film. “The Blind Side” and “UP” are both great stories, I’m not so sure they are Best Picture material, but I enjoyed both of the films. “Up in the Air” is movie that I had to think about for a while before I decided I liked it. In the end I decided I love it. My only real problem with that film was the pacing, but the performances by the actors made up for any shortfalls.

That said, for me this year’s two best pictures are “The Hurt Locker” and “Inglourious Basterds” are my favorites. Director Kathryn Bigelow picked up the Directors Guild Award for “The Hurt Locker,” and this makes me hopeful that perhaps Hollywood is coming around to understanding that this one incredible film. Most people know Bigelow as James Cameron’s ex, but she’s obviously so much more. He even says so. “The Hurt Locker” is a tightly wound film, with intense performance. It’s one you shouldn’t miss. And even though he often gets the cold shoulder from Hollywood, no one is doing more for the film genre than Quentin Tarantino. The man has such respect for the art of film-making and though he’s turned out some winners and some stinkers, this is his best film yet. So for me a perfect world would have a Best Picture tie for “The Hurt Locker” and “Inglorious Basterds.”

To comment on Let’s Talk Academy Awards please click here.

Candace Havens | New Series, Romantic Adventure…it’s February!

I have so much to tell you about this month. First of all, those of you who are fans of M.J. RoseThe Reincarnationist might want to check out Past Life on Fox, which was inspired by the by the book. For those of you who are familiar with the book, basically the institute is there and they deal with past life regression cases, but that’s where the similarities end. Kelli Giddish, Richard Schiff , Nicholas Bishop and Ravi Pate star.

I like the concept, but I feel like maybe they should have picked a different episode for the pilot. It starts out kind of slow, but I liked the second episode. My fear is that Fox is the worst at giving shows a chance. If it doesn’t hold the ratings, it won’t be around for very long. And, not unlike Dollhouse, it’s a show that needs a little time to find its footing. There is some decent chemistry between Giddish and Bishop His character has just lost his wife; so don’t expect a big romantic bang up top. It’s certainly worth checking out.

TAKE ME IF YOU DAREI’m super excited about the release of my first Harlequin Blaze, TAKE ME IF YOU DARE. I love this line of books and I’m proud to be a part of it. I’d always wanted to write about spies and detectives and with the Stonegate Investigative Agency, I was able to mix the two. My hero, Jackson, is my idea of the perfect man, Mariska, my heroine, can hold her own. I hope you guys will check it out.

DEMON FIREKate Douglas says DEMONFIRE is her first “not erotic” mass market paranormal. “I’m a basket case about the release,” she says. “My readers love the over-the-top-no-boundary-is-sacred Wolf Tales series, and I’m never nervous about those books coming out. Why is it I can write sexy stories that would cur Grandma’s toes without a worry, but I’m really freaked out about the release of a really cool story about a demon who gets kicked out of hell for being too good, and ends up fighting demons on Earth in a borrowed body. Go figure.” Kate, trust me when I say, I know exactly how you feel. It’s because we’re trying something new, and we can only hope readers jump on for the ride.

KNOCK ME FOR A LOOPKNOCK ME FOR A LOOP is the third in Heidi BettsChicks with Sticks trilogy. “But it is actually the first of the three stories I plotted out in my head,” she says. “From the beginning, I just loved Zack and Grace – to mention their adorable Saint Bernard, Bruiser. I had the best time developing the ups and downs of their relationships.”

TALE OF TWO DEMON SLAYERSAngie Fox’s latest A TALE OF TWO DEMON SLAYERS is the third book in the Accidental Demon Slayer series. “It’s about a preschool teacher who finds out she has powers and has to run off with her grandma’s gang of Harley riding biker witches,” Fox says. “Lizzie, the heroine, also has a talking dog and in this book, the dog gets a pet. It goes something like this:

Lizzie: You can’t have a pet. You are pet.

Pirate: I know how to treat a pet. First rule: no Healthy Lite dog chow.

To celebrate Fox has created a fun quiz to help you find out What Supernatural Pet is Right for You.

REAL VAMPIRES HATE THEIR THIGHSGerry Bartlett has another funny one out, Real Vampires Hate Their Thighs. “Who doesn’t hate their thighs?” Bartlett asks. “And if a vampire has a figure issue, to bad, she’s stuck just the way she is when she’s turned. Forever. In this book, vampire Glory St. Clair can finally get her dream figure when she meets a vampire diet guru. Too good to be true? First, he’s her lover’s ancient enemy. Then there are the weird side effects from the drugs he gives her. With a chance to walk down the red carpet at the Grammys though, Glory is willing to risk a lot to look great for that one special night. Wouldn’t you?”

Well, that’s it for this month, see you next year with more news…Candy


Candace Havens is a columnist for FYI Television, an online news and media service, where she writes five weekly columns for an overall audience of 44 million readers. She is also an entertainment reporter for 96.3 KSCS in Fort Worth. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is the author of the Charmed & Dangerous series including CHARMED & READY, CHARMED & DANGEROUS, CHARMED & DEADLY, and LIKE A CHARM as well as the Caruthers sisters: DRAGONS PREFER BLONDES and THE DEMON KING AND I. Her latest book, TAKE ME IF YOU DARE is in stores in February 2010.

Her non-fiction prose includes JOSS WHEDON: THE GENIUS BEHIND BUFFY, and essays in ALIAS ASSUMED: SEX, LIES AND SD-6, and FIVE SEASONS OF ANGEL.

You can visit Candy daily at her blog or her website

Candace Havens | Bright Lights in 2010…TV Pilots and books…

Candy’s Inside Books
A look at books, authors and movie events

I’m getting ready to head out to Los Angeles to cover the new TV season for the day job. I’ve seen a few of the new pilots and I liked some of them. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen anything very fresh – At least not yet. (Hollywood, if you’re listening I have some great books that could be turned into fabulous TV series. I haven’t ever seen a series about a witch who protects the British prime minister, or a magical librarian, or four sisters who protect our world from alien beings.

But I digress.

It occurred to me the other day that some of my favorite TV shows and films from 2009 were based on the lives of writers or were adaptations of books. “Castle” is one of my favorite television shows, which is about a fictional writer who works with a police detective to solve murders. I also liked the adaptation of Debbie Macombers“Mrs. Miracle,” which was a very sweet film.

“The Last Station” is a movie about Tolstoy’s struggle to balance is slightly insane family with his commitment to his belief in living a life with out material comforts. I must admit I didn’t know much about Tolstoy, but Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren and James McAvoy really brought his story to life.

I was also a big fan of “Julie & Julia,” which stars Meryl Streep as Julia Childs and Amy Adams as author and blogger Julie Powell. This one is out on video and I highly recommend it.  “Up in the Air” with George Clooney is based on a novel by Walter Kirn, and Clooney gives the performance of a lifetime in this one. I was also charmed by “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” which also stars Clooney as one of the voices, and is based on the book by Roald Dahl.

But one of my absolute favorite films last year (it may not have been released yet in your city) was “Bright Star.” Directed by Jane Campion, the film follows the love of 19th century poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and the lovely seamstress Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish).  It’s one of the most romantic films I’ve seen in a very long time. Yet, the lovers barely ever touch. Just talking about it makes me want to watch it again.

As a writer, it’s fascinating for me to see what makes other writer’ tick, and to see how their works are adapted. Let’s face it, I don’t know a single writer who doesn’t secretly wish his or her book would be turned into a movie or television show. And I know my whacked out life could some day be the fodder for someone else’s entertainment, but it would most definitely be a comedy.

Let’s take a look at some of the cool releases out this month. Who knows? One of these may be on a television set or in a theater near you soon!

SEX on the beachMOON TOUCHEDSEX ON THE BEACH from Susan Lyons is every bit as sexy as it sounds. “The idea for Sex on the Beach came to me on a cold winter day in Vancouver, BC,” says Lyons. “I thrive on sunshine and warmth, so I nourished my soul with memories of tropical holidays. I remembered how many people I’d seen getting married on the beach, and imagined the sexy fun that might ensue if a group of wedding guests assembled in Belize. And . . . ooh, ooh! What if each of the romantic couples had a reason for keeping their relationship secret? Could you imagine how complicated that could get? Well, let me tell you, it was complicated to write too, trying to keep track of who was doing what with whom, and when and where – but it was sure a lot of fun!”

MOON MARKED is the latest from Linda Thomas-Sundstrom. “In this "Wolf Moon" series of four books and Bites, I had four sets of heroes and heroines, each pair with a book of their own, per se,” Thomas Sundstrom says. “But some of them appeared in stories other than their own, entagling all of those eight people (not to mention the secondary characters) in the circumstances surrounding the plotline of  chasing down a criminal werewolf in Miami who is biting innocent people. Some of those pesky characters muscled in as I wrote, racking up some overtime, when I had no idea they were going to show up in some elses’ tale!  And literally all of them, plus those secondaries, gathered together in the final book ("Wolf Trap," March 2010), joining forces to try to take the nasty wolf down. Just try keeping all that straight! Let’s see now…. which Were had the brown pelt and blue eyes! How about the blue pelt with the brown eyes? NO! Duh! There is no such thing as a blue pelt! It was wicked fun, a real challenge, and more than a little mind-boggling – managing all those wolves and their pals. I’d heard werewolves were aggressive, but hey . . . their energy carried me right along, infecting me with their enthusiasm. Kept me on my writerly toes. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I hope I can!”

DANGEROUS HIGHLANDERETERNAL HUNTERDANGEROUS HIGHLANDER from Donna Grant came from her wondering why the Romans couldn’t take northern Britain. “I’ve always wondered about that,” says Grant. “Was it the Celts or something more? So my Dark Swords series was born with Druids, magic, and primeval gods locked inside Highlanders.”

ETERNAL HUNTER is set in the steamy South–in Baton Rouge, a city close to author Cynthia Eden’s heart.  “Baton Rouge seemed to be a perfect setting for shifters who chose to hunt in swamps,” she says, “and for charmers who spent their evenings in the company of gators.  In the Deep South, anything can happen and usually does.”

VODOOPlay it loudAnn Yost’sVOODOO THAT YOU DO” is all about second chances. “One of the subplots is about a pastor and the local mortician’s wife and how their affair affects the whole town,” Yost says. “It’s loosely based on an incident that occurred in my community.”

The lovely Gina Nelson’s first book “PLAY IT LOUD” is on bookshelves. It’s a sweet romance with a sensual edge that is perfect for adults and teens.

SKYLAR cowboySecret wifeSKYLAR’S OUTLAW was a difficult book for author Linda Warren to write. “The heroine’s four-year-old daughter has juvenile arthritis,” she says. “I’ve had rheumatoid arthritis since I was eighteen so I know the subject very well, but I never realized it would be so hard to write those emotions from a mother’s perspective. To ease Skylar’s worry I gave her a special hero, someone to share her burden, just like I have in my life. Enjoy SKYLAR’S OUTLAW.”

THE SHERIFF’S SECRET WIFE from Christyne Butler has characters from her first book “THE COWBOY’S SECOND CHANCE.” “This book was fun to write because the hero and heroine first appeared in that first book and they tried to take over every scene they were in,” says Butler. “I knew from the moment I met Racy and Gage that they had to have their own story, and it would be wild ride!”

BEDTIME STORIESTawny Weber is one of the authors featured in the Blazing Bedtime Stories III anthology with Tori Carrington. “There’s nothing more fun than mixing the sexiness of a Blaze with a little sassy magic of a fairy tale,” says Weber. “I had the best time writing YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS, bringing my own twist to the classic Frog Prince fairy tale. Almost as fun was coming up with a variety of ways to torture my poor hero, whose curse has his once virile ego shrinking to tadpole proportions.”

Well, that’s it for this month, see you next month with more news…Candy


Candy is a nationally syndicated entertainment columnist, who has interviewed just about every celebrity there is in Hollywood and written thousands of articles. She is the author of the upcoming romantic suspense, CATCH ME IF YOU DARE as well as the Charmed & Dangerous series including CHARMED & READY CHARMED & DANGEROUS, CHARMED & DEADLY, and LIKE A CHARM. Her Caruthers sisters books DRAGONS PREFER BLONDES and THE DEMON KING & I are available now!

Her non-fiction prose includes JOSS WHEDON: THE GENIUS BEHIND BUFFY, and essays in ALIAS ASSUMED: SEX, LIES AND SD-6, and FIVE SEASONS OF ANGEL. She’s also the entertainment critic providing the latest on TV, film and celebs for the radio station 96.3 KSCS. And she’s the managing editor for FYI Television.

You can visit Candy daily at her blog or her website