Friday, February 26, 2010

Welcome, Cate Masters

Maintenance Keeps Things Running Smooth

My husband always said that with the right maintenance, you can keep anything running a long, long time. Men understand this concept well. Except when it comes to relationships. You might be tempted to work up an instruction manual, but instead, give them hands-on experience.

Maybe your relationship needs a tune-up to jump start it, but after that, some regular maintenance checks will keep his engine purring. We writers use these concepts every day, so applying it to real life should be easy.

The most important organ in sex is the brain. Sure you can easily stimulate other body parts, but if you want to make a lasting impression, first stimulate the one where memory and cognition collide. Spark those neurons into flame, into high alert. Snap your partner’s attention to you and only you.

How? Glad you asked. :)

While you know your partner’s preferences better than anyone, start with some basic principles. Play with what works for you.
Like any good romance, buildup is the key. First comes the hook – the attention grabber. Maybe it’s a card with a personal note included about how much you look forward to an evening together – alone. Add new layers to that, maybe a teasing text message or email.

Communication is another important aspect. You want to get input from your partner to plan something you’ll both enjoy. If you want it to be a surprise, ask in a teasing way to get the information. It will drive your mate crazy, and s/he won’t be able to wait until you’re alone.

To me, music always has an emotional component. Select some tracks that express what you feel in your heart. While your tastes might run different, why not try something new? Especially if you know your partner will enjoy it.

Anyone can buy flowers and candy. Instead of giving something prepackaged, make it something original. Even intangible. But memorable.

Valentine’s Day is one day out of the year, but romance shouldn’t be limited to this day. If you’re in a relationship, make your relationship a priority. Commit to ten good minutes a day where you take time for the one you love, and give him or her your full attention.

We’re all crazy busy every day, but consider the time an investment in your future. As my husband says, with the right maintenance, something can last forever. Pretty good advice for real life too.

I’ll give away a PDF of my romantic novella, Picture This, to a random commenter who shares his or her favorite Valentine experience.

Cate Masters writes fantasy/dark fantasy, historical, contemporary and speculative fiction, described by reviewers as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” “such romantic tales that really touch your soul,” “filled with action scenes which made it a riveting story,” and “the author weaves a great tale with a creative way of using words that makes the story refreshing to read.” Visit Cate's website, her blog or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks to for letting us "borrow" the image


Mirella Sichirollo Patzer said...

Huge congratulations on your Eppie Win. That's one of the top awards ever! And I don't know anyone who deserves it more than you.

Alice Audrey said...

Put me in the drawing!

My favorite Valentine's experience was only a few years ago. For years my dh had given me only a card on V-day. After a long talk in which I explained that a man wasn't necessarily in the dog house when he gave his true love flowers, he gave me the works. Card, flowers, balloons, everything. I still have the deflated balloon.

Maggie Dove said...

Loved the post, Cate! Valentines's should be all year long.


Cate Masters said...

Such a sweet story, Alice! How nice you kept the balloon too.
You're in the drawing! Thanks for stopping by.

Cate Masters said...

Ginger, I think Mirella's comment was meant for you. But thanks for stopping by, too, Mirella!

Cate Masters said...

Hey Maggie! Hm, that might be dangerous, all that chocolate. :) But I agree, an all-year celebration would be great.

Cate Masters said...

I'm so psyched! I just found out Picture This is on the EP bestseller list. WOOT!

Ginger Simpson said...

Nope...I don't think it was for me. I was nominated for an EPPIE, now called an EPIC Award in 2009, but didn't win. Yesterday I won the LRC 2009 Best Historical Romance. Wow! I'm still not believing it. :)

Cate Masters said...

I know, how cool is that Ginger! Kudos and congrats. Hope you have plans to celebrate this weekend!

Cate Masters said...

Congrats to Alice Audrey - you won the PDF of Picture This! If you don't hear from me today, please email me at cate.masters AT
Thanks everyone! Especially Ginger, for having me as a guest.

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