Friday, December 29, 2006

Latest reviews

Here are a few snippets from the latest reviews of my current release, INHERITED: BABY and my upcoming first Modern Extra, BIG-SHOT BACHELOR. (Head on over to Cataromance to read the full reviews!)

Awe inspiring characters combined with an incredible story Inherited: Baby by Nicola Marsh tells the story of a woman whose inspirational spirit to live her life her way and is able to succeed in getting the man of her dreams. I really enjoyed Maya and Riley because they both were able to understand what was at stake and how to overcome their problems to make their relationship work. I loved how Riley was able to learn what was important to him, and have the guts to go after it. Ms. Marsh is an author I always enjoy reading and Inherited: Baby is another book that will stay with me long after I’ve finished it.

And more!

Nicola Marsh writes a down-to-earth romance that will appeal to everyone as Big-Shot Bachelor has for me. I loved reading how Ariel and Cooper connected, and how Cooper learnt that love comes in many forms and ways. I also enjoyed the relationship between Cooper and his father, the in-depth way Ms Marsh was able to delve with this father – son relationship gave the story a lot more personality. You need to read Big-Shot Bachelor because it gives you a romance that will stay with you.
Hoping to pop back in before the New Year but if I don't make it, I wish you all a wonderful start to 2007!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Editor interview!

Over at the Pink Heart Society, we've had a bit of a coup with Mills and Boon London editor Jenny Hutton doing an interview for us.
It really is enlightening and if you ever wanted to know about the road to publication from an editor's point of view, make sure you head on over and check it out!

In more mundane stuff, I went out last night for dinner with a group of old physio uni friends (for what seemed like the first time in months, and yes, I actually ate food and it stayed down!) and they were all chatting about the physio conference in Palm Cove next year. Then one of the girls asked me 'do you miss being a physio?' to which I responded with an instant, vehement, straight from the heart 'no way!'
Everyone laughed but it really made me think how I've had such a drastic job change and how much I love it. Writing is a passion. It's a part of me. It makes me happy. And it pays the bills.
What more could I ask for?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

On sale now!

I just found out that my current release, INHERITED: BABY, out now in North America isn't on the shelves in the UK so if you want to grab a copy, you'll have to go via the Mills and Boon website.

And while you're there, pop across to the Modern Romance section and pick up an advanced copy of BIG-SHOT BACHELOR, my first Modern Extra, out next month!

Go on, spoil yourself for Christmas.

You know you want to!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Looking glam?

This is pretty funny so just had to share.

I meet with a group of really close writing buddies once every few months. We chat, we laugh and we eat! These gals are the best and I'm so lucky that our writing brought us together. Their friendship is precious.
I've missed our last get-together because of the morning sickness, so they all came to me on Saturday bearing food and pressies. Copious amounts of both, including birthday pressies for me from October.

With all the chatting and catching up, I didn't get to open my pressies till later. Being the good girl, I always open cards first so imagine my surprise when I opened the first to discover "HAPPY 40TH BIRTHDAY"! I had a good chuckle and wasn't going to say anything but when I opened the next card and it had the same...well, needless to say I had tears rolling down my face! ( of laughter!)

Now, I know I look pretty bad at the moment. Most people tell me how pale/exhausted/etc...I look, which I'm not surprised about considering this constant morning sickness.
However, my Nan's 82 and has barely a wrinkle, my mum's in her sixties and looks fabulous and I'm proud to say I don't have one single wrinkle (the greys are another story!) My web pic was taken last year (and yes, I'm wearing makeup) but I reckon I don't look too bad for my age?
Yes, 40 is my next major birthday coming all too quickly but I'm not there yet!!

Of course, this mistake (an honest one later explained by my friend) led to much hilarity for the rest of the lunch and hubby thought it was too funny!!! He always teases me about our 6 week age gap as is (apparently he's my toy boy.)

So thanks for the laughs, girls.
I'll remember to trowel on the make up next time! ;)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Diary of a page junkie

I admit it.

I'm a page junkie.

There's nothing better at the end of a working night than seeing how many pages I've written. I love seeing the pages and word count add up. It's addictive!

My, how all that has changed...

These days, I'm happy to get a couple of pages done a night though in all honesty, I don't look anymore. Too depressing for a speed freak like me.
That said, there is something infinitely satisfying about revisions when you chop great chunks out and add in two brand spanking new scenes as I did last night.
And the best bit?
I can see this story taking a new direction!
Which of course complicates matters for a little bit later when other scenes have to be chopped and changed but hey, isn't that the point of revising? Making the story better?

So for this page junkie, I'm currently at page 62 of The Pregnancy Surprise (an office/baby story for Romance.) That's after 3 nights work with tons of slashing and adding in the 2 new scenes.
Will keep the page count coming.

Monday, November 13, 2006

True confession Tuesday

While I've posted a blog over at the Pink Heart Society today for Temptation on Tuesday (think George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Joe Flanigan and you'll definitely have to check it out!) I've decided to make my own version, True Confession Tuesday here and out myself.

As many of you know, I've been absent or very, very quiet for the last few months. I've vanished from loops and my writing has slowed to a crawl (eg. so far, it has taken me as long to get partially through these current revisions as it took me to write my first 2 books this year!)

There are reasons, one fabulous, one not so great.

The bad news first: I had a TIA (transient ischaemic attack) or mini-stroke end of September, which affected my right arm and leg. Symptoms resolved fairly quickly but the never-ending tests and fear had me pretty worried for a while.
I'm not going to go on and on about this but only to say if you ever experience any weird symptoms, worth checking out.

Now, onto the good stuff.
I'm 14 weeks pregnant!!!!!!!!!
After baby dramas in May this year, I'm so thrilled by this pregnancy and treading gently through each day.
The only downside is the incredibly awful morning sickness, which lasts from the time I open my eyes to when I go to bed, hence the limited writing. Bit hard to keep hands on the keyboard when they're gripping the porcelain. (Oops, sorry, too much info!)

So if anyone has a miraculous cure for 'all day' sickness that works, let me know and I'll gladly give you as many of my backlist books as I can. Mind you, it has to work and I have to warn you, I've tried nearly everything already!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Creating memorable characters: in the first page!

Julie Cohen has issued an interesting challenge on her blog, where she asks people to post a first page excerpt and demonstrate how we create characters and conflict so early in a book.

So, as we've been chatting about INHERITED: BABY, here's the first page from the book with my two cents worth thrown in for good luck!

Maya Edison stood ram-rod straight, oblivious to the huge society crowd that had turned the funeral into a farce. She stared at the casket containing her dead fiancé as it was lowered into the ground, wishing she could cry.

(By her stiff posture and not caring about the crowd around her, we get the impression Maya is a strong woman.)

Wishing she could feel something other than the soul-deep weariness that had seeped into her bones around the time she’d had moved in with Joe Bourke, fallen pregnant with his child and bought his phoney lines about wanting to get married.

(She's had it tough. 'Soul-deep' implies more than your average grief.)

Wishing she didn’t feel the slightest hint of relief that her nightmare with Joe was over. Or the overwhelming guilt at her role in his death.

(What's this? She had something to do with Joe's death? Demonstrates our heroine is flawed and maybe isn't solely deserving of all our sympathy?)

Loving Joe had been a rush, a whirlwind romance that plucked her up and deposited her in the vortex of an emotional hurricane, leaving her to pick up the pieces eighteen months later.
“You okay?”
She turned at the light touch on her elbow, nodding mechanically, gaining some comfort from the genuine concern in Riley’s deep blue eyes.
Riley Bourke, Joe’s serious older brother, the only person at this funeral who had leant a helping hand after Joe’s death, the only person who seemed to care.

(Instantly, we get the feeling the hero is real. He has 'genuine' concern, has helped her and cares, three great qualities for a hero to have.)

Interesting, huh?
What do you think? Does this short intro give you a feel for the characters?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Great read!

I have to rave about this book!

Carmen Reid's "How Was it for You?" is a gritty, realistic tale of one woman's journey through desperately wanting a baby and beyond.

The heroine is deliciously flawed and while I cringed at some of her mistakes, I could identify with the heartbreak of wanting a child so badly you'd almost do anything for it. I have so many friends and family who have gone through the emotional wringer with IVF and/or miscarriage and this book really captured the emotions behind this rollercoaster ride.

I love discovering great authors and now that I've bought one of Carmen's books purely by chance I'll definitely be chasing up the rest.

Isn't it great when you pick up a book and discover it's truly wonderful? Entertaining, escapist but real at the same time?
One of those books you almost wish didn't have to end?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Labour of love

We've had lovely news of two new babies this week: my sister-in-law had a baby girl and my cousin had a baby boy.
Such a special time and brings back memories of my own 22 hour(!)labour, which actually wasn't as bad as I expected.
Then I bumped into a friend from Mum's Group yesterday with her new twins, who are absolutely gorgeous!
Me, clucky?
Babies are gorgeous and cuddly and grow so quickly, as I wrestle my almost 3 year old off my desk and away from pounding on the keyboard as I type!

Writing is another labour of love and on that front, I've completed the revisions on my next Romance (an office romance featuring an unexpected pregnancy.)
Mind you, they've been done in half hour bursts here and there, so I'm sure I'll have a bit of tidying up before it's ready to send back to my editor.
But at least they're done.
One down, one to go.

Monday, October 09, 2006

"Pineapple" books

My buddy Trish Wylie recently referred to one of her books as a 'pineapple' book. Huh?
She said writing the book was as painful as giving birth to a pineapple (metaphorically speaking, of course!)
In fact, Trish is having a Pineapple party for that book over at her blog at the moment so if you want to win a copy of the pineapple, head on over!

Trish got me thinking...because of what was happening in her personal life at the time she wrote the book, it became her pineapple.
Now I know exactly what she was talking about!
I haven't been well lately (thanks for all the private well-wishes!) and really struggling with sitting at a computer let alone writing anything.
Now I have revisions which have to get done but it's tough, really tough, when it's the last thing you want to do or worry about.

So unfortunately, I feel my own pineapples coming on...ouch!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Covers and revisions

I received the US copies of INHERITED: BABY early this week and I adore the new covers. Even though I wasn't sure about the big baby pic on the front, he looks ultra cute on this one, especially with the added touch of holly for it being a December Christmas release.

I've also heard back from my editor on the Romance and ModX books I handed in a while ago.
Minor revisions on one, more on the other.
Remember, the ModX is a rewrite of an old book and I can clearly see what my ed means when she says she keeps noticing moments where 'Romance Nic' meets 'MX Nic' when I switch out of a sensual moment to note the emotional impact.
It's probably because I think this book could be a Romance too, that my voice wavers too much in it. Looks like MX Nic needs to come out and play in earnest!

Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode about 'Independent George' where George's worlds are colliding. Let's hope that doesn't happen for the Nics!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Idea Boutique

Ever wanted to know where authors get the ideas for their books?

Then pop on over to The Idea Boutique, a fascinating blog I stumbled on a while ago via Bronwyn Jameson's blog.

Today, FOUND: HIS FAMILY is featured and I make a shocking confession! (Well, not so shocking if you know me...)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tips from the Energizer bunny needed.

See these energetic little guys bouncing all over the place?
(They're supposed to be bouncing but blogger isn't playing fair and I don't have the patience to fiddle!)

Well, that is SOOO not me at the moment.

I've been laying low, feeling really off-colour so no writing, no exciting blogs, not much of anything really. Barely have energy to check my emails in the morning before logging off till the next day.

My sheikh and his prospective wife Bria keep saying 'hey, what about us?'
And I keep responding 'what about you?'
I'm so excited about writing this book but right now, can't summon the energy to do much of anything.
On the upside, I'm getting to do a bit of reading in the afternoons. Thank goodness for a toddler who still naps!!

All that bouncing around? Frankly, I don't know how the Energizer bunny does it!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Academic blogging

I had a lovely email from Dr. Laura Vivanco last night, saying she'd blogged about one of my books.

I was immediately intrigued and rushed over here to take a look.

Her observations about CONTRACT TO MARRY were very interesting and she picked up exactly how I'd used the heroine Fleur's best friend Liv (who reads romance novels) as a perfect foil for Fleur's cynicism.

CONTRACT TO MARRY features an older hero, Darcy (38) and a much younger, much more cynical heroine Fleur who doesn't believe in marriage and all that rot! Of course, Darcy changes her mind eventually...This is a romance after all!

I'd love to hear what you think about Dr. Vivanco's blog.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cracking good read

I adore reading.
If I didn't write, I could quite happily spend all my time lolling about and reading (of course, there is the slight matter of raising a child, being part of a family, cooking meals, doing loads of washing, grocery shopping and all the rest!) but in a dream world, I would be reclining on a comfy sofa with a pile of books on my right with a stack of chocolate on my left. Bliss...

Speaking of reading, I just finished a really good book, Allison Rushby's FRIDAY NIGHT COCKTAILS. I've read all of Allison's books to date (chick-lit for Red Dress Ink) but have to say this is my favourite. It was actually her first book, published in Australia as before Kensington re-released it as Friday Night Cocktails.
The whole concept of having a public website where women can post bits and pieces about the creeps in their lives and why is a classic!

There are some great laugh-out-loud moments in this book and it kept me smiling till the last page. Definitely worth a read.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Alpha Hero

It has been a while since I wrote an alpha hero.

My second book, THE WEDDING CONTRACT, featured a successful, ruthless lawyer who played a 'baddie' in my first book, THE TYCOON'S DATING DEAL. Steve Rockwell needed to be redeemed so he met his match and got the happily-ever-after he didn't expect.

The interesting thing is that while I wrote that book, I wasn't sure if readers would like Steve, especially after his rude behaviour in book 1. In fact, a teensy-weensy part of me didn't like him!
The good news is that this book monitored highly in the UK, so some readers did indeed love him but since then I haven't written an alpha hero. I prefer the beta guys, who are successful and a tad aloof but with marshmallow hearts.

For me, alpha heroes conjure up images of mega-wealthy guys with a touch of arrogance, shades of superiority and who like to be in control. Yes, they have their good points and can be downright sexy, and many authors write alphas to die for but for me I just can't write them with ease.

Which brings me to Sam, my sheikh and the alpha hero who has crept up on me. I've written 2000 words the last 2 nights (that's going to be my daily target for this book, no overdoing it) and Sam is very much an alpha hero. He's a sheikh and demands to be written that way. A small part of me says 'can I do this?' while his imposing presence stamps itself all over the story.
Only time will tell how the story progresses but for now, alpha Sam is wowing both Bria the heroine and me!

What do you think of alpha heroes?

Monday, September 11, 2006


This date will be etched in our memory banks forever.
A terribly sad day where so many innocent lives were lost and the world realised the extent of what terrorism truly means.

For me, I was due to fly out to LA a week after this event and the uncertainty of whether or not the flights would reopen in time, what would happen at LAX and would flying ever be the same again was a constant niggle. As it turned out, I was on one of the first flights allowed out of Australia to the US and apart from lengthy delays at Melbourne Airport where every hangbag and handluggage was emptied and searched thoroughly, my trip went off without a hitch.

I think what struck me the most was the way people were getting on with their lives, not letting fear take a hold and I admired the way airport security at Melbourne, LAX and Vancouver went about their tough jobs with professionalism.

For those who lost loved ones on this day, my heartfelt sympathies to you all.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Light on the horizon...

Yesterday was an absolute s**t of a day!
Everything that could've gone wrong did, the worst being my darling toddler pitching headfirst into a picture we hadn't hung yet and smashing the glass.
I didn't care one iota about the picture but my heart stopped when I turned around and saw him sitting surrounded by major shards of glass, that awful shocked kiddie look on his face.
Amazingly, he didn't have a scratch on him, while the top of my office chair(where he'd been climbing) got shredded. Unbelievable.

Suddenly, I realised something. No matter how crummy things are, the most important things in life have a way of giving you a real wake-up call.
I've also realised something else. Maybe I'm so grumpy because I'm not writing? This has been my longest stint ever at not writing a thing and it's not helping.
Time to change all that.
Watch for a new worm thingy coming to a sidebar near you!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Excitement of 'the call'!

Whenever I hear an author has sold a book, I get a little familiar tingle down my spine as I recall the exact day and time I got 'the call' from Harlequin saying they loved my book and wanted to buy it.
I'll never, ever forget the sheer thrill, the mind-blowing excitement and the repetitious 'great', 'great', and 'great' I responded to everything my editor said that fateful night at 6.30pm on 12th May 2003. It really was a turning point in my life.

Last night, I logged onto the Net and heard the fantastic news that Paula Roe had sold to Silhouette Desire. Not only does Paula write, she's a fabulously talented website designer and did mine a few months ago. Hearing her call story gave me goosebumps and it's so great another Aussie has joined the Harlequin team.

As for me writing? Nada. Still waiting to hear from my ed on the last 2 books, so rather than start another last night I edited a single title I'd completed a while back. I will, will, WILL start the sheikh book next week.
A new week, a new start. Right?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

New release 'Down Under'.

My next book has hit the shelves in Australia!

FOUND: HIS FAMILY, set in the gorgeous bayside suburb of St. Kilda, is the story of Aimee Payet, a single mum and successful businesswoman who runs a patisserie in Acland Street (home of the most divine cakes and pastries on the planet! And yes, it is a real place!!)
When her adorable son Toby falls victim to leukemia, Aimee is forced to contact Jed Sanderson, sexy TV chef, the last person she wants to see...considering he broke her heart 5 years earlier and he's Toby's dad.

I did a lot of research for this book (which basically means I ate a lot of cakes and drank a lot of lattes but hey, somebody's gotta do it.)

Romantic Times said "Found: His Family has a strong conflict and is highly emotional" which is great, considering that's the type of book both my editor and I were trying to achieve at the time.

I'll be blogging more about St. Kilda and Acland Street (and yes, those yummy cakes, complete with pics) on September 12th over at the Pink Heart Society.

In other writing news, my lovely editor is back from holidays and says I'll be hearing about The Pregnancy Surprise shortly. I loved writing this book and I think it's one of my more emotional books. Will keep you posted.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

COLLAGES with Barbara Hannay

After trialling many different ways to get the interview with Barbara up here, my blogger sidebar still goes crazy so I've posted a link instead.

To get the full interview, including 2 gorgeous pictures of Barbara's collages for her latest 2 books, click here!

I'd love to hear what you think after reading the interview, so please pop back here and leave a comment.
(Here's a sneak peek at one of Barbara's collages. For the lowdown, you'll have to check out the interview!)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Conference wrap-up

As promised, here's my whiz-bang ultra-short post-RWAus conference wrap up!

THURSDAY: arrived on the sunny Gold Coast, headed to Broadbeach where the conference was being held. At 5.30pm, went to Fiona Lowe's room for a party for the launch of her first book! Had a great time eating gigantic strawberries and toasting my talented buddy with champagne, while catching up with many authors I haven't seen since the last conference and meeting other newbies.

FRIDAY: the swish Harlequin Author's Lunch, held at a swank waterside restaurant. More lovely chatter (and yummy food!) I was presented with a "Woman Fuzzy" award, an annual event which started following an Ally Blake radio interview where the interviewer confused her "warm and fuzzy" comment for a "woman fuzzy?".

That night, attended the Cocktail Party, where the theme was "Golden Era of Hollywood." Loads of fab costumes. I went as Aishwarya Rai, the former Miss Universe who starred as the heroine in Bride and Prejudice.

SATURDAY: heard Debbie Macomber speak, attended great workshops, Anne Gracie's fabulous 'emotional punch' speech which was unfortunately cut short.

SUNDAY: more great workshops, Jane Porter's impassioned speech, I hosted an author chat for writers targetting the Romance line. Exhaustion well and truly set in. Shared a final hot chocolate with authors later that evening before looking forward to doing it all over again next year!

There, short and sweet!
Later this week, I'm going to have another guest interview, this time with the lovely Barbara Hannay who presented a workshop at the conference on collages. Barbara will be discussing collages and showing examples of her most recent ones and how they help her write a book.
It's going to be fun. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Two-week Mistress

Moving right away from baby covers to 'under the covers' with my latest ModX sale, TWO-WEEK MISTRESS.

Remember the delightful Bo Bradford? (or more to the point, the gorgeous James Penfold whose pic I couldn't help but put up here quite frequently!)

Well, you can now get the low-down and an excerpt on this book, so check it out (click on the title.)

I'll get my butt into gear this week and post some conference news and pics. Promise!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Here it is!

Still trying to catch up on hundreds of emails while I was away, but I've just scanned the cover for INHERITED: BABY so here it is.

Opinions please?

I started reading the book yesterday and it's such a surreal experience, going from writing the story on a PC screen to reading the words in print. Maya is a single mum doing it tough and Riley is the brother of her dead fiance. I'm a quarter of the way through, where Riley (a citified stockbroker) has taken over Maya's horse strapper duties for a few weeks.

Tom Williams was the inspiration behind Riley. Once I find the pic I used, I'll pop that up here too. Just to entice you a little...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I'm back!

Hey everyone, I'm back! Did you miss me?

The RWAus conference at Broadbeach was fantastic. I caught up with so many people, met loads of new writers and generally had a whoop up time!
I will be posting loads of snippets, pics and general goss over the next week so stay tuned...
Here's a sneak peek at what some of us got up to: moi receiving my 'woman fuzzy' award (explanation later!) and the Romance girls pre-cocktail party in full 'Golden Era of Hollywood' outfits.

I also spent a glorious week post-conference soaking up the glorious Queensland sun, basically sitting around and doing nothing! I didn't type a single word!!

Of course, I've come back to a flurry of writing news.

1) I've sold my 2nd ModX!! The Creative Touch (Tahnee's story) will be out in March 07 as TWO-WEEK MISTRESS.

2) BIG-SHOT BACHELOR will be released in Australia under the Sexy Sensation line in May 07.

3) WIFE AND MOTHER WANTED is nominated for a Cataromance Reviewers Choice award (alongside my buddies Ally Blake, Trish Wylie and Natasha Oakley. How cool is that!)

4) My first Romance cover has arrived. INHERITED: BABY is a Dec 06 release and once I scan it, I'll pop the cover up.
I've adored every one of my covers and though this one is cute, I'll honestly say it's not my fave. I don't like baby covers and that's what this is, a giant gorgeous baby close-up.
Don't get me wrong, I adore babies. I have one of my own (who has far-too-quickly morphed into an active toddler) but for me, babies don't spell romance. I much prefer the sexy couple covers to bubs. And in this book, the baby is such a small part of the story...sigh...
This is my Melbourne Cup book and I was really, really hoping for a couple and bub and horse on the cover but it's not to be...I'll get over it...eventually!

Seriously, the baby is very cute and I've seen far worse covers so I should be happy.
Can you tell I'm overtired and just rambling on endlessly?

Promise to get up to speed over the next week. In the meantime, bear with me...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Surprise! My first guest.

I promised you a surprise to keep you entertained while I'm away so here it is: my first ever guest and it's none other than the lovely Marion Lennox, who just won her 2nd RITA in the Best Traditional category with Princess of Convenience. (Isn't Mitzi a cutie?!)

When were you first published?

1990 with Dare to Love Again

How many books have you had published?


What type of romance do you write?

Tender Romances and Medical Romances. I really enjoy Royal Fantasy Romances - the age old Cinderella story, and royalty without the paparazzi.

Awards, recognition, bestsellers?

Nine times nominated for Rita, awarded Rita in 2004 & 2006, 13 times finalist for Rby, awarded Rby in 2004. finalist for RNA (UK) finalist for Holt,
2006 Cataromance award for Best Medical Romance for 2005

Define romance for you.

A man and a woman and a happy beginning. My fantasy lover and my best friend rolled into one gorgeous hunk of masculinity!

What do you love about Melbourne?

You're kidding right? Um....I love Melbourne because it contains my friends. I love the new Southern Cross station cos it lets me come visit my friends more easily and then it facilitates my trip home. To Ballarat. Which I do love. I'm not a big city girl. You just have to read my books to know that.

The most romantic thing about Melbourne for you?

Close to Melbourne is Ballarat. :-) Sovereign Hill is a retained and restored slice of the gold diggings dating from 1850.
You can stay in their suites at Sovereign Hill Lodge and it's fabulous. Snuggle down on a freezing winter night, wake up to the sound of troops drilling, horses hauling loads through town, diggers going about their business as they did a
hundred and fifty years ago - then take a hot shower or a spa before
going out to investigate :-)

I could've asked Marion a thousand other questions but she was getting ready to leave for the RWAus conference (I'm almost packed too!)
On Monday, I had the pleasure of being there when Stephanie Laurens presented the gleaming RITA to Marion, a truly fabulous moment.
Congratulations once again, Marion. Keep those gorgeous award-winning books coming!

(Late mail just in! My editor says the revisions to The Creative Touch look great so it's all systems go for my second ModX. Will know the title when I get back. You'll all have to hang on till then like I will!!)

Tyler's match

Every great hero needs an equally great heroine and with that in mind, here's Ty's match.

Meet Kate Hayden, a 27 y.o. a senior editor working for Femme magazine in LA. She's an Aussie gal who left Sydney as a naive 20 y.o., fleeing her past. However, by the time this book winds towards the end, I have a feeling she'll be returning to Aussie shores...
(In case you don't recognise them, Ty is none other than Wentworth Miller, he of the killer blue eyes, and Kate is Catherine Zeta Jones.)

I finished another chapter of MALE FOR SALE last night.
Boy, is it interesting re-reading what I wrote 4 years ago. Some of its good, some is like 'ouch, that's painful!'
Of course, I'm obliterating the painful stuff, keeping the good and hopefully adding some more good. Re-writing is slow going but it's fun.

I'm off to the 'SOME LIKE IT HOT' Romance Writers of Australia conference early tomorrow morning, so won't be back here for a few weeks.
But never fear, I'm going to leave you with an interesting surprise before I go.
You'll just have to check back tomorrow to see what it is...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Limbo land

As you all know from my somewhat manic word count and previous posts, I like to always know what I'm working on next and usually take a short break before diving on into the next plot.

Well, I'm currently in this weird limbo land where I know I should take a break, I need to take a break but I can't seem to stay away from the keyboard.
Last night, I intended to fiddle around with research stuff, finish my hubbie's monthly accounts and have an early night.
What actually happened? I started tinkering with the next ModX! Actually, I'm very happy as I think I've finally nailed the hero's motivation in this one. It has taken me ages and several tries so it's a huge relief. Now when I get back from the conference, I can get stuck into it (this one has a Dec 1st deadline.)

It's an old story, the 4th book I ever wrote and originally targetted at the old Temptation line. I then tried to make it fit into a Romance but the tone didn't sit well with me so it's back where it belongs, in Modern Extra. There's still a fair bit of work to be done, as I've made Tyler James and Kate Hayden a married couple who split 6 years earlier rather than just having a fling, so it ups the ante a lot.
Loads of rewriting and slashing to be done but the bare bones are there, so should be easier than starting from scratch? (Note I said should!)

So who's the inspiration behind ex Navy SEAL Tyler James?
Check him out!

Monday, August 07, 2006

With compliments

Caught up with some friends for brunch yesterday.
I love the weekend brunch thing. It's casual, fun and yummy, plus you kill two meals with one stone (and hopefully save putting on a stone or two in the long run?)

Both Lisa and Jen (yeah, I'm naming names, girls!) had never read a Mills and Boon book in their life before I started writing for them and it's so great that they now read them. Even better was the lovely compliment I was paid when Lisa said "I was up till 1am reading WIFE AND MOTHER WANTED, I just had to read it all in one go."

As an author, that is so lovely to hear, that the reader is so absorbed in the story that they want to keep turning pages till the end of the book.

Speaking of page turners, I devoured THE DEALBREAKER almost in one sitting myself over the weekend. I adore Harlan Coben's work and this was his first Myron Bolitar book re-released. (I think Myron has featured in 8 of his novels to date.) I love his snappy voice and the way he keeps you enthralled in the suspense right to the very end. What a great author!
I've got 4 of his books on my keeper shelf currently and planning on getting the lot.
If you like suspense with an edge, go grab yourself a copy. You won't regret it.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Holding out for a hero.

Last night was one of the first in a long, long time where I didn't turn on the computer. Instead, I flipped through old magazines chopping out potential heroines and heroes, settings and interiors. I love doing that sort of stuff but don't usually have the time.
Mind you, my collection is growing but I haven't yet made a collage (the brilliant Barbara Hannay is doing a workshop on collages at next week's RWAust. conference and I know for a fact several other authors including Jennifer Crusie and Susan Wiggs use them too.)
Seeing all those gorgeous, colourful pictures was inspiring and once I get back from the conference, I might have a go at one.

As for heroes, my next Romance has been given the go-ahead by my editor on Friday so I really needed an appropriate hero for this one. It's my first sheikh! And I'm travelling to Dubai to do some first-hand research (or as my lovely editor put it, I'm off on a sheikh hunt!!) so I wanted a strong, powerful man to encapsulate everything I see for Sam (short for Samman.)

Flicking through my hero folder, I found him straight away. He had the look down-pat and I'm thrilled to introduce him (Sam is none other than Rodrigo Santaro and he'll be featured in a Pink Heart Society blog soon too!)

Isn't he amazing?

Friday, August 04, 2006

The grand finale

Last night's final episode of 24 was absolutely brilliant and this series has been by far the best.
I'm an action girl who loves this type of conspiracy show and even if you aren't into it, I recommend you take a look at this series.

As a writer, it fascinated me to look at how the writers for the show layered the conflict, adding plot twists when you least expected and generally upped the emotional tension in a big way. Previous shows have had some emotional stuff in there but this one far exceeded those, which is why I think it worked so well and appealed so much more to me.
I constantly strive to get the emotional tension in my books just right and for the most part, it's hard work.
Looks like the writers of 24 did it with ease!

Now to a finale of a different kind...I finished the read-through of The Creative Touch last night and sent it back to my editor. Overall, I was happy with the changes I'd made. When I was neck-deep in them, it seemed hard to guage whether I was doing it right or not but thankfully, I like the outcome. Let's hope my ed does too!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

4 stars!

I'm a person who doesn't get too wrapped up in reviews.
Many established authors follow the same philosophy, that a review is only one person's subjective opinion and doesn't correlate with sales usually.

In the romance world, most of us like to hear what Romantic Times have rated our book (or not, as the case may be!) With RT, 4 and half stars is a 'top pick' and I'd like one of those one day please...

However, I'm thrilled with my first 4 star review from them, more for the lovely comments than that one little extra star itself (I usually rate a 3.)

A chance meeting with wealthy businessman Darcy Howard could be just the thing to make life coach Fleur Adams' own business take off. But once Darcy hires her, Fleur discovers that motivating his staff will be impossible -- unless she can persuade him to mend his workaholic ways. Surprisingly, Darcy's open to the idea, and as their relationship develops, Fleur has to keep reminding herself that it's strictly business. Darcy has other plans, but Fleur's not interested in settling down. Nicola Marsh's Contract to Marry (4) has a well-developed conflict and plenty of snappy dialogue. More than that, Darcy and Fleur are handled beautifully.

I love my dialogue so to hear it called snappy is a huge compliment to me. And I like hearing I'm handling my characters beautifully too.

A great boost, especially considering the revisions have me plagued with doubts as usual. "Will this book be any good? Have the revisions improved it? Will my ed like it?"

The highs and lows of being an author. Gotta love it!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A load off.

The revisions are done!

Phew! After the earlier slashing and rearranging, the last few chapters didn't need too much done at all, just a bit of rewriting here and there due to earlier changes.

The tough part is finished, now comes the final read-through to see everything makes sense and I haven't changed timelines (which are crucial in this book courtesy of Nate's infamous "2 week rule"-to find out more, you'll have to read the book!!), altered too much or too little and left in any residual stuff from the two secondary characters who have fallen by the wayside. (I love my secondary characters a bit too much so some of them had to go!)

The final two episodes of 24 screen the next two nights, so I'm going to try and get this read by Friday. Then, it's relaxation here I come in the fabulous Queensland sun!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The corks are popping!

Yes, I can hear the cheery sounds of champagne corks popping as we speak, for Marion Lennox and Liz Fielding, two extremely talented and fellow Romance authors have won RITA awards!
Marion won the Best Traditional category with Princess of Convenience, a gorgeous story and Liz the Best Short Contemporary category with The Marriage Miracle, one my all-time favourite romances with Mattie, the feisty wheel-chair bound heroine.
Congrats ladies, you are stars! And to all the other finalists, you should be proud.

While I'm sending cyber toasts Marion and Liz's way, I've been plodding along tonight on the revisions. Yes, still tough going with the slashing and fiddling and rearranging, though it is becoming a bit easier now, as I mainly have to rearrange scenes I've already written to up the tension. Currently at page 124, hoping to get these done early in the week?
Fun, fun, fun!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What a day!

First up, I've got great news.

I've just sold my 10th book! Remember the Romance starring the bad-boy prince? Well, we don't have a title yet but the book is scheduled for release in June 2007. My editor also gave me the good news that she's read The Creative Touch and this has been scheduled for March 07, so that leaves me with a Romance release Dec 06, ModX Jan 07, ModX March 07 and Romance June 07 with two more books to come.
I'm really excited about this and trying to stay focussed on getting my current Romance done before facing my last deadline for the year.

Speaking of which, I had an insane day and wrote 11 500 words. Kristen's story is a lot darker than I expected yet the words are flowing and I'm almost there. She's currently 39 weeks pregnant and I have a feeling we might need to wait till the epilogue to find out how the birth pans out...

Okay, I'm beat.
My editor is searching for my first Romance and first ModX covers as we speak, so stay tuned for the great unveiling!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Sold out!

As you can probably see, I had a fiddle with my blog template last night and have updated the look. What do you think?
I'm trying to tie it in with my website, which has the same banner though you can actually read a lot more of it on my website (yes, I'm not too clever with computer stuff and have managed to chop off half of the pic without trying.)
Will play some more and try to get it spic and span as soon as possible!

While trying to update my blog, I wanted to post a pic of my upcoming release in the US, WIFE AND MOTHER WANTED so went over to eharlequin to download the cover, when I found this plastered across the cover!

Now, I have no idea if this means they ordered less copies of my book and that's why it sold out, but I'd prefer to think it means people really want to read this story! After finalling in the HOLT and Booksellers's Best with my last book, perhaps people are saying 'who on earth is Nicola Marsh?' Considering I'm up against the likes of Lucy Gordon, Shirley Jump and Holly Jacobs, I wouldn't be surprised!

(A quick adjunct to 24 last night. The ending had the biggest plot twist yet! Those script writers sure know how to keep the viewers hanging out for more next week.)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Plot twists

I don't get to watch a lot of TV as my writing schedule is a night one but I do make time for 24, the high velocity action series starring Keifer Sutherland.

I've watched every series to date. Some have frustrated me, others have held me enthralled and I have to say, this current series is by far the best.
For sheer number of plot twists! Just when you think you know who the baddies are, wham! Another twist leaving you scratching your head and wanting more. When writing, I always try and end the chapter on a hook, leaving the reader wanting to turn the page to find out what's going to happen and 24 is delivering that quality in spades.

The most surprising aspect of this series is the number of key characters dying. If you haven't seen it, I won't give away any spoilers here but needless to say, the show has lost 5 major characters from previous series and each death is a shock to the viewers. You won't see it coming and I can't quite believe those characters won't be there again.

If you want to see how the experts demonstrate pacing of a story, watch 24. You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The art of speed

At the risk of having a very good friend of mine beat me over the head with a stick, I'm going to say I've managed 28 500 words of this new Romance in exactly a week. No, I'm not pushing myself or overdoing it, like I have been prone to in the past (no unkind sniggers here please) but this book is another of those flyers where the characters know exactly what's happening when and I'm along for the ride.

I used to be a huge plotter, using elaborate character charts before starting a book but these days I tend to have a basic idea of what they're like and where the story will end up and go from there. The other funny thing is I have pictures of Kristen and Nate up on my pinboard but never look at them. Instead, I'm a dialogue girl, where the characters speak and I type. Just wish they'd pipe down when I'm trying to fall asleep after writing for a few hours at night...

Anyway, back to the speed thing. Even if you're not a plotter and prefer to fly by the seat of your pants, I'd strongly recommend you give it a go even once. Jot down a few points, key scenes, whatever comes into your head and save it. The clearer the picture you have of where you're going, the easier the journey.
There endeth the lesson.

Oh, and it helps to have a gorgeous hero for inspiration too!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I love Alphie!

No, Alphie isn't my latest hero.
Alphie is short for AlphaSmart, the whiz-bang word processor run on 3 AA batteries which you can fit in your handbag and take anywhere.

After hearing other authors sing Alphie's praises, I bought one at the 2004 RWAus conference in Sydney and I must say, I fell in love like everyone else.

Alphie is portable and light, two major attractions and I wrote the bulk of my first single title on him while staying at my folks for a week.
Since then, I've used Alphie spasmodically, preferring to sit at my PC every night rather than cuddle up with Alphie on the couch.

Then came yesterday...I don't usually write on the weekends but I was going to my folks for the day and thought I'd take Alphie along just in case I got a free minute while they played with my toddler.
Well, I had about an hour of play-free time and managed to get quite a few words down with Alphie. The beauty of him is that you don't know how much you've actually done till you upload to your PC so can't edit as you go.

Thanks to Alphie, I wrote 3250 words yesterday. I had no idea I'd done that much but it's amazing how fast the words flow when you're not editing as you go (something I'm prone to do a bit!)

So for anyone who wants to up your word count, I'd strongly recommend having an Alphie of your own (though I think he's been superceded by a newer whiz-bang model called Neo?)
Whatever, he's worth his light weight in gold!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Crazy day

I had one of those crazy days today where I tried to fit in a week's worth of errands into twenty-four hours. However, it's not often I get to do this without a toddler in tow so I rushed around like a mad thing, doing a whole heap of boring stuff so I could maybe squeeze an hour in of writing, which I managed between 3 and 4.

There's nothing like a new book to get the creative juices flowing and I managed 7500 words today all up. The story is flowing beautifully but then, I always find this at the start. It's that dreaded sagging middle that has me scurrying for a notebook and pen to scribble out the rest of the plot!

This one is my next Romance and features Kristen Lewis, sister of Tahnee (The Creative Touch-ModX) and Carissa (heroine in Wife and Mother Wanted.) She's an independent career woman and an unexpected pregnancy is the last thing she wants or needs. Especially considering the father of the baby is her boss!

Stay tuned for more...

Post-it note to synopsis stuff

I've had quite a few private emails about the synopsis I posted here so I want to clarify a few things.

Firstly, this is what I prefer to call a proposal/outline rather than a synopsis and I only used this format once I'd sold, to give my editor a brief snapshot of my next book. With my single title work, the synopses I write are much more detailed and done in paragraph form without headings such as heroine/hero/storyline/conflict/etc...

Personally, I like the quick snapshot style as it gives the reader at a glance what is going on but I know the paragraph by paragraph is standard so to those trying to get published, I'd stick with that format.
This would work across Harlequin lines and beyond...

Hope this helps! And if you have any more questions, just holler!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Under the covers.

At last, I've had time to play with my new website and I've mastered the art of creating a new page (a major achievement if you knew what a computer dunce I am!)

So for an 'under the cover' look at BIG-SHOT BACHELOR, my first Modern Extra release, head on over. I've also included an excerpt to give you a hint of what's to come!

That's about it for now. Time to get a bit more R&R before I start my next Romance, probably next week. I've already done the outline for this one so getting toey to start. Might just jot down a few key scenes while I'm resting up...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Synopsis secrets...shh....

My buddy Trish Wylie has come out of her deadline cave and has too much time on her hands, doing crazy things like tagging me to carry on with her synopsis stuff (actually, it's a brilliant idea and she's posted some fabulous synopsis info on her blog so make sure you check it out.)

So, to join in the fun, I'm going to post here my outline/proposal/synopsis which I sent my editor for WIFE AND MOTHER WANTED, my upcoming release in North America (August).
This is an interesting lesson in how editors and authors work, as WIFE AND MOTHER WANTED ended up being quite different from the synopsis sent in. More after you've read the synopsis.

HEROINE: Carissa Lewis loves make-believe, fantasy and all things magical. After all, it’s much more fun than the harsh realities of the real world where her parents died and she, along with her two sisters, were fostered out to different families. Her childhood was the pits and she’s making up for lost time now content in the knowledge she can manufacture happiness for others.

HERO: Brody Elliott, ex-social worker, doesn’t believe in fairy tale endings. He’s seen the harsher side of life and experienced gut-wrenching devastation firsthand when his wife died. And despite his drive to save the world, he’s learned the hard way that he can’t win every crusade and some things just aren’t worth fighting for.

All Carissa has ever wanted for Christmas is a little happiness. She hated the silly season growing up, living with miserly foster parents who treated it like just another day. Now, it’s easier for her to create happiness for others at this special time of the year rather than concentrate on what’s lacking in her own life and running her own fairy shop, Fey For Fun, gives her the opportunity to do just that. Every year, she holds special events for the underprivileged kids in town and this year is no exception.
However, when Santa pulls out at the last minute (and dumps her in the process) she is left high and dry. That is, till her surly new neighbour Brody Elliott steps in.
Brody hasn’t been in town long and though gorgeous he’s made it clear that she would not be welcome to knock on his door for sugar! However, when he saves her hide and volunteers to play Santa for the kids, she sees a whole new side to her grumpy neighbour, a side she likes way too much for her peace of mind.
Despite her overtures at friendship, once the Santa suit comes off, Brody is back to his taciturn best and Carissa vows that this year, she’s going to ignore Christmas. In fact, when she comes to think about it, every Christmas has been a disaster for as long as she can remember. She’s always single and hating it, or hanging on to a loser like Peter—her ex Santa—just for the sake of it. Or else she’s playing Cupid for her two sisters, Tahnee and Kristen and failing at it. It’s all too hard and this year, despite her love of the day, she’s going to hibernate.
Not surprising, Brody has the same idea. He lost his wife to a drunk driver several days before Christmas five years earlier and has never recovered. A social worker should be able to save people, protect people, yet he feels he did a lousy job of looking after his wife. He has quit his job, moved out of the city and is happy with his anonymity in a small town, knowing he should get his life back on track but having no idea how.
On Christmas Eve, a storm cuts power to the town and Brody hears a scream from next door. Unable to ignore his latent protective instincts, he goes to the rescue and ends up spending the evening with Carissa and both discover that Christmas Eve isn’t so bad after all.
Carissa warms to Brody, seeing a sensitive side beneath his gruff exterior and Brody enjoys himself in the company of a woman for the first time in years.
However, guilt is a terrible thing and the next day, when Carissa visits him full of Christmas cheer, Brody has withdrawn into his cold, hard shell. He berates himself for enjoying himself, especially at this time of year, the anniversary of his wife’s death. He feels disloyal and needs to preserve her memory, not have fun with another woman.
Carissa, who is already half way in love with Brody, is determined for him to lighten up, so lures him to her shop on the pretext of him helping her out again only to greet him dressed like a Christmas fairy and spinning the magic she usually does for the kids.
Brody falls for Carissa against his better judgement but continues to push her away. She wants the family she never had and he can’t make her dream come true. His heart got ripped out losing his first wife and he won’t go there again, ever. Instead, he throws himself into a new project, deciding to open a half-way house for runaway kids and is prepared to settle in this town.
After being pushed away once too often, Carissa tires of living in a fantasy world and decides to leave her shop and head to the city for a dose of reality. Brody tells her that running away won’t solve anything yet who is he to talk?
Enlisting the help of the local kids who love Carissa, he convinces her to stay, knowing his heart is on the line.
After being alone for so long, Carissa and Brody find their very own Christmas miracle.

Brody has loved and lost. He equates love with pain, suffering and devastation, not only with his own experience in losing his wife but seeing it constantly in his job as social worker.
Being alone is easier.
No family, no responsibilities, no threat of losing it all.

Carissa has been alone her entire life. Sure, she had a foster family but emotionally she has learned to shelter her heart and look after number one. Being reunited with her sisters has been an amazing experience but she wants it all…a family of her own, a husband and kids to love and cherish.
However, she won’t settle for any old guy. She saw what that did to her foster parent’s marriage and she won’t go there. When she marries, it will be for love and this Christmas, she has found it. (COPYRIGHT NICOLA MARSH 2005)

As you can see, I wanted this to be a Christmas story but due to scheduling, it wasn't to be. Also, my editor thought that adding a child to the mix would up the angst of the hero so Molly was born, so to speak! Making Brody a single dad doing it tough really upped the ante and gave him the darker edge my editor wanted. Plus I had a heap of fun writing my first child character, so much so that my next two books, FOUND: HIS FAMILY and INHERITED: BABY both feature kids heavily in the story too!

For those who've already read Wife and Mother Wanted (recently released in the UK May, Australia June) you'll see how I kept the bulk of the storyline in the actual writing of the book but like most writers, found the characters taking the story on a few twists of their own!

When I give a synopsis to my editor, I also put in key scenes if they're vivid in my mind and for this book, I had quite a few (which have been removed so not to act as spoilers for those who haven't read the book!) However, the last few synopses I've handed in haven't had scenes as I find I'm not hovering between being a pantser and a plotter rather than the full-on plotter I used to be!

So, that's about it for now.
If you have any questions, fire away.
And make sure to check out Ally and Natasha's blog, as I'm sure they'll wanna play synopsis-tag too!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Don't do this at home...

Maybe I'm driven? Maybe I'm dedicated? Maybe I'm just plain nuts but I just finished The Creative Touch, exactly 3 weeks to the night I started it.

Of course, I'm ready to collapse into a heap now but it's done and that's another deadline I won't have to worry about later in the year.

I really enjoyed reading Big-Shot Bachelor again today while doing proof edits and it's bordering on being my all-time favourite book. Let's hope this ModX follows suit. Right now, I can't keep my eyes open let alone think so will let it rest for a while before getting into the editing.

Remind me never to do this again...

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Okay, I've managed to contain my excitement and concentrate long enough to write 10 000 words the last two nights. I'm nearly there...rushing to the finish line, creating that happily-ever-after which makes us all buy romances and sigh with contentment as we finish the book.

Speaking of reading a satisfying romance, I've just started reading Pregnant on Arrival, my buddy Fiona Lowe's first sale! I'm getting a special buzz from this because it's not the first time I've read it! Fiona approached me last year to read her manuscript and critique it. The story was great and I could see it selling to Harlequin's Medical line, which it has. But what makes this extra special is seeing my name in the dedications and knowing that Fiona appreciated my input enough to mention me.

How many times have you read a dedication in a book and wondered who is the person, what's behind it, how have they contributed to the author's life? I know I do and I take my own dedications very seriously.

So thanks, Fiona. You've made my day!

Friday, June 30, 2006

I'm leaving on a jetplane...

Well, maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself but I'm so excited I could burst so have to share the news...

I'm going to London!
One of the most cosmopolitan, exciting cities on earth, I spent a few weeks there 9 years ago and now I'm going back. My aim is to catch up with my editor and visit the Harlequin offices, attend the AMBA lunch(Association of Mills and Boon Authors) and generally have a whoop up time! With the added bonus of meeting my buddies Trish Wylie and Natasha Oakley. Can't wait!!!

Of course, organising the trip has eaten into my writing time this week in a big way. But I plan to remedy that starting tonight. After all, I need to write a few more books to fund the trip!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The call...take two!

I got 'the call' an hour ago.

Not for the first time but just as exciting, as I've sold my first book to the Modern Extra line (hereafter known as ModX)

Remember the naked man book, the book intended for Romance but somehow it morphed into a ModX?

Well, BIG SHOT BACHELOR will be released in January 2007 and I can't wait. I now have a September 1st and December 1st deadline for my next two ModXs, along with another Romance, so guess who's going to be a busy bee for the next 6 months?

I'll be posting the entire storyline behind this book on my website over the next few weeks, so stay tuned. Set in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, a trendy, artsy suburb of Melbourne, this book is definitely one of my faves. Sparks flew between Ariel and Cooper from the first chapter (well, he was naked for most of it. And chapter two for that matter...) and it flowed so quickly.

I'm thrilled to be writing for two Harlequin lines. Busy is good.
Just remind me I said that when I'm facing my third deadline coming up to Christmas, won't you?

Surprise release!

Just had a rather pleasant surprise.
With the merging of Harlequin and Silhouette Romance lines, my 4th book, Contract to Marry, looked like it would miss out on release in North America.
Well, I just spotted it out this month on eharlequin!

I'm not sure if this book is going retail, may only be direct orders, so if you want to grab a copy, head on over here.

This book was one of my faves. Darcy is gorgeously stuffy and in desperate need of life coach Fleur, who teaches him how to have fun!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A day for fans

THE TEMPORARY PRINCESS is done, edited and sitting in my editor's hands as we speak. Stayed up extra late last night after having an inspiring lunch with the Melbourne Lunch Mob, a group of fabulous authors who meet on a regular basis. Came in at 54000 words exactly, so happy about that. Now the waiting begins...

I received several lovely emails today from people who have read Wife and Mother Wanted and enjoyed the book. Really enjoyed it! This really takes a load off my mind, as this one is the first of my 'different' books. So thanks everyone. You made my day!
(PS. to find out who all the lovely ladies are, head on over to my website. I have names and links to all their websites there.)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


I've got some good news to share.

IMPOSSIBLY PREGNANT, my HOLT finalist, has also finalled in the Best Traditional category of the Booksellers' Best Award. Yay!!!!

I loved writing this book with its quirky chapter headings, Keely the website designer with weight issues and Lachlan the oh-so-sexy radio psychologist. It was already my favourite out of all my Harlequin Romances and now doubly so!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Comfort writing

People who love to write, who find it's in their blood, will understand this. Everyone else will think I'm nuts!
In times of stress, some people comfort eat, some try retail therapy (okay, I admit it, I've done a bit of that this week too) but I write.
Writing is part of who I am. It makes me feel secure, grounded, in touch and when life gets tough, I know my characters can distract me.
So, for the past three nights, I've buried myself in my work. Sure, I'm happy with the 8500 words I've written but it's so much more than that.
I'm starting to feel okay again and that's more important than how many words or what I've written. I'm comforted.
A special thanks to my friends who have got me through this traumatic week; you know who you are.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Words adding up...

At last, a productive week.
After not being able to write a thing for ages, I managed almost 10 000 words this week (and darn proud of it!)
And to make me feel even more chuffed, I'm exactly half way through my current Romance when earlier this week, it felt like I'd never finish the thing!
My prince is gorgeous, Natasha is filled with angst yet falling for him anyway and the story is flowing. Gotta love that.
Now, I'm off to watch the ultimate hero Hugh Jackman in Kate and Leopold. Saw it when first released but you can never get too much of Hugh

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Every word counts

I finally managed to write last night. 9 pages. 2250 words.
For the first time in weeks, the words flowed, my characters talked and I felt half-way human again!
It's tough when you've got other things on your mind and family life intrudes but I swear, I experienced the same euphoria last night after finishing 9 pages that I usually get after completing a whole book.
Getting back into writing after a break, enforced or not, is hard. Really hard.
You always wonder 'can I still do it? Is this story any good? Am I stuck?'
Today, I have 9 more pages than I did yesterday and it feels great!
Every word counts...

Monday, May 15, 2006

The hardest job in the world.

Yesterday was Mother's Day, a special day when kids (and dads!) get to spoil their mums for doing the hardest job in the world: raising the little munchkins!
For every sleepless night, there is a rewarding hug.
For every fever, a smoochy kiss.
For every second of worry, a cherubic smile which lights up your life.
Yeah, motherhood is the hardest job in the world but it's also a fabulous journey of discovery and unconditional love.
I had a lovely relaxing day. I hope all the supermums out there did too!

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Okay, talk about coincidence...I just had an email from an author who'd read my current 'Author of the Month' feature on the eharl Aussie site, informing me that my fictitious town where my current release, WIFE AND MOTHER WANTED, is set isn't so fictitious.
It's actually a real place! And it's 2 hours north of Sydney (in the book, I'm sure I mention that Stockton is a few hours north of Sydney, a figure I totally made up.)
How bizarre is that!
I've never been to the place, never heard of the place and plucked the name out of my head (actually, I think it was the surname of a girl I used to know.)
So there you go.
Now about to rush off and make sure my fictitious island for my sexy prince isn't an actual principality!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A step back in time.

Still winding down from revisions earlier in the week (and frankly, not in the mood to write) so last night, curled up on the couch and watched Flashdance.
Now, I'm a child of the eighties. I love the music, the memories, though I can leave the fashion (especially those ugly leg warmers for if you're a shorty like me, they really didn't do much for you!)
The amazing thing, I've never seen Flashdance in its entirety. Sure, the movie is dated but I loved it! The whole 'girl from the wrong side of the tracks doing it tough to achieve her dream', inspiring stuff! Found myself humming 'What a Feeling' for an hour afterwards...and blogging about it today.
Long live the eighties!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I have news!

Okay, maybe this isn't the best time to write this as the news hasn't sunk in yet and it has all happened so fast but here goes.....
Spoke to my editor tonight about the last Romance I submitted and it turns out the book isn't a Romance but a Modern Extra. Yes, that's right, I'm now writing for another Harlequin line!!!
It was totally unexpected as it wasn't my intention when I wrote the book but I can see how my ed thinks it would be perfect for the old Temptation line(now renamed Modern Extra): not many Romances start off with a naked man!
I'm really excited about this unexpected turn of events though a bit blown away too. It means I have to write 4 books this year, not counting finishing the NEXT or my single title stuff.
If I vanish here more often than not, you'll know where I am....chained to my chair, slaving over a keyboard in serious meltdown! Or will that be my brain?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Took a step back in time yesterday when I caught up with a group of uni friends, some I haven't seen for 10 years!
To protect the not-so-innocent, let's call this gang Rob, Mary, Leanne and Teresa. Back in the physio days, we'd attend lectures, swap notes, study together, hang out and write the odd letter to each other over semester breaks. These guys were great.
Then of course, life intrudes and we head off in many different directions, career and personal wise. Families are born, new careers followed and a whole heap of other stuff which gets in the way of keeping in touch more regularly.
Step forward to yesterday: a gorgeous balmy Autumn afternoon, great food, fabulous company and a feeling like nothing had changed, that same comfortable feeling you get when you sit down on the floor cross-legged with a familiar photo album.
It's a special feeling; the warmth, the camaraderie.
So, to the gang: Rob, you just might make it as a hero in one of my upcoming books! Mary, follow your dream. Leanne, your energy levels never cease to amaze me. And Teresa, my creative friend, you paid me one of the nicest compliments I've ever received about my writing. "When I read your books, it's like I'm chatting to you, the sense of humour, everything."
Thanks, guys. Today, I'm off to recapture some of that wonderful feeling and flick through old photos...and maybe the odd letter or two?

Monday, April 24, 2006


It's always so hard to get back into the story after a weekend off (one of the main reasons I used to drive myself like a maniac and rarely have a night off.) I just found it easier to keep writing, keep the story flowing till I realised that exhaustion and sickness are not conducive to producing a good story anyway!
So, managed 2000 words tonight. Not bad, steady progression. I'm almost a fifth of the way into the story in a week and I have to be happy with that (though I'm usually so much quicker and this pace is killing me!)
Seeing as I work at night, I don't have an opportunity to watch much TV. However, this season I've become addicted to Commander in Chief and Prison Break so without further ado, I'm calling it quits for tonight and heading off to enjoy more of that lovely down time.
Dante and Natasha can wait till tomorrow...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Baby steps getting bigger...

The end of my writing week and I'm pleased to report I'm 7250 words into a new book. In all honesty, I can't quite believe that word count as it feels like I'm moving at a snail's pace with this one (probably because my mind is definitely on other things.)
However, the baby steps do add up and in forcing myself to sit at the keyboard every night and write something, at least the words are there.
As a wise author once said, you can edit a bad page, you can't edit a blank page.
Hope you all have a fabulous weekend.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A fresh start

If you're anything like me, you love new things: new books (I really dig the smell!), new clothes and starting a new book.
The characters are jumping up and down, sticking their hands up in the air saying 'notice me! notice me!' and you just have to start telling their story.
This happened to me last night. I started watching a movie (which turned out to be bor-ing) so went to turn off my PC around 9.30. Instead, found myself sitting down to maybe get the first page written of the new idea. 5 pages later, called it quits because I was pretty zonked anyway but I know I'll love whizzing through the first 3 chapters, loving the fresh, vibrant newness of a story.
Writing the rest is the hard part...

Sunday, April 09, 2006


After working about 8 hours the last two nights, I've finished the revisions for Bollywood or Bust. Yay! After chatting with Ethan, I didn't think they were much but I ended up adding around 10 000 words to the book. The good thing is, they weren't that difficult and definitely improve the story.
Now all that's left is the final read through and it's off!

I'd planned on starting off the new week with the NEXT story but I forgot about the article I have to write for a German romance magazine about the Melbourne lunch mob of authors who meet regularly. I'm also in the middle of planning a presentation with Ally Blake for the Williamstown Literary Festival which we're doing on May 13th.

Looks like the next few weeks are going to be super busy.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Weekend? What's that?

I have been bad.
As many bloggers have warned me, this blogging business eats up time and they're not wrong!
I have revisions on my ST and NEXT novel (that's for the Harlequin NEXT line as opposed to my next novel which appears overly important with the use of capitals!) so what did I do all week?
Celebrate my good news, fluff around surfing the Net for blogs and finally creating my own.
So when the weekend hits and I usually wind down and have a few nights off, what happens? I work!
Made a start on the Bollywood or Bust revisions last night and pretty happy with them, almost finished. Then it's onto the NEXT.
As my Nan used to say, no rest for the wicked, huh?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

We have lift-off!

Ok, after spending a few hours trying to get the links stuff to work last night, I huffed off to bed, only for the savvy Ally Blake to save me from tearing out any more hair this morning with a few quick pointers.
Thanks Ally!

Now I have some idea how to work this thing, I can actually get down to the interesting stuff like telling you about my huge week! And it has been huge...

On Saturday, I received a call from the USA. Impossibly Pregnant, released Oct 05, has finalled in the HOLT medallion, Best Traditional category. After hugging everyone within arm's length (my poor squeezed family), wandering around in a daze for a while then sitting at the PC and actually trying to tell all my writing buddies with shaking typing hands, the news finally sunk in and I resorted to grinning like a loon instead.
This book was one of my faves to write and I'm thrilled that the judges loved it too.

The HOLT winners are announced on June 10th so fingers crossed!

My big week continued when I signed today with Ethan Ellenberg. I am thrilled to have him as my agent and look forward to working with him. I'll keep you posted on developments.

Now, I really should get back to the writing stuff.
I knew this blogging thingymajig would be distracting...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Anti-blogger

Yes, the unthinkable has happened...
The anti-blogger, as some of my friends call me, has succumbed and finally decided to blog.
Better late than never, right?
Now, I have no idea how often I'll post or whether the content will be as scintillating as I'd like but hey, I'm here.
Things can only get better from here!