The Wonderful Olivia Gates's New Book Released Today!

Monday, January 31, 2011

To Tempt a Sheikh by Olivia Gates

He rescued hostage Talia Burke from his royal family's rival tribe and swept her into his strong embrace. But Prince Harres Aal Shalaan soon discovered there was more to the brave beauty than he knew. Talia held information vital to protecting his beloved kingdom…and she had every reason not to trust him.

Marooned together at a desert oasis, Talia couldn't resist Harres. Yet even as his sizzling seduction entranced her, his loyalty to his family and country would always make them enemies. Falling for the sheikh would be her heart's greatest mistake…but she feared it was already too late….
In stores February 1!

Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Books A Million and bookstores everywhere. Also available at eharlequin both in print and as an ebook.

To read a first chapter and visit Olivia's webpage, go to

Southwest Florida Romance Writers Conference

Sunday, January 30, 2011

On the spur of the moment I decided to attend the Southwest Florida Romance Writers' Conference yesterday. My agent Roberta Brown was speaking on a panel, and I needed one of her hugs. Since I probably won't attend the RWA conference this year, I would be missing out on my usual time with her.

At 5 a.m. I was up and after getting dressed, took Maddie for her walk. Venus and the quarter moon were so close they appeared to be cuddling.

With hot tea in hand, I began my trek west across Florida. It was almost a 3 hour trek across Alligator Alley, which cuts a swath through the heartland of the state. Since I was driving, I couldn't take pictures, but I saw egrets, osprey, blue herons, and hawks. I got lost right before reaching the hotel in Estero, but finally found the hotel.

The look on Roberta's face when I snuck up & gave her a hug.  The room was packed with attendees. Romance suspense author Roxanne St. Clair,, gave a moving keynote speach, weaving together a story of her beloved father with inspiration. She is definitely 'keen'.

Kristen Painter gave a really great workshop on worldbuilding and I'll blog more about that later this week.  I had a relaxing lunch with mystery author Marty Ambrose,, Roberta and agent Marlene Stringer.

The agent/editor panel consisted of Roberta, Marlene along with fellow agents Susan Crawford, Miriam Kirss & Christine Witthohn as well as editor Alex Logan.  They gave a lot of good advice that I tweeted simultaneoulsy.  @CStephensonFL

One tidbit I will try to take to heart. If you blog, you need to do it consistently several times a week. While I was trying to provide information in prior blogs, it takes time, which I don't have consistently. So...I'm going to go for more of a live journal approach. I can babble about things going on in my life and I'll call on Maddie for her dog perspective at times.

Best thing of all from yesterday? I got my Roberta hug. :) Carol

Roberta Brown, Carol Stephenson, Marlene Stinger

Groundhog Day Trivia

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Since February 2nd is steamrolling toward us, I thought I'd play with Groundhog Day trivia. I'll swing by and post the answers on Thursday. :) Carol

1) True or false: can groundhogs climb trees?

2)  When did Pennsylsvania celebrate its first official Groundshog Day?

3)  In the movie 'Groundshog Day', what song did Bill Murray's play every morning?

4)  What is the Punxsutawney groundhog's wife's name?

A) Phoebe
B) Pamela
C) Philomena
D) Phyllis

5)Which state has made General Beauregard Lee its official Weather Prognosticator?

A) Alabama
B) Georgia
C) South Carolina
D) Indiana

6) How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

A) about 700 pounds
B) about 50 pounds
C) about 225 pounds
D) about 475 pounds