Monday, November 26, 2007

On Aussie/NZ shelves this week

I have a frantic week of appointments for the kidlets ahead, so thought I'd do a quick reminder of what's about to hit the shelves cos you never know when I'll make it back here!!

PURCHASED FOR PLEASURE, my sexy SEAL book, will hit Aussie and New Zealand shelves later this week so make sure you rush out and grab a copy of my 3rd Sexy Sensation. Are you rushing yet? ;)

(And no, Ty isn't a teenager or doesn't have long hair, as we've already established in a previous discussion :) )

For US readers, this book will be my first Harlequin Presents on sale from Jan 28th so not long to go now...

Friday, November 23, 2007

The award I forgot about

Breaking news!!!
I've placed 3rd in the Laurel Wreath 2008 with WIFE AND MOTHER WANTED.
This award is judged by booksellers all over America so I'm thrilled.

And the best bit?
It's in the Short Contemporary category, which means the book went up against Harlequin Presents, Americans, Medicals and Silhouette Desires (and other publishers)

So it's a win for me and for the Harlequin Romance line! Yay!
Will give more details once I get them.

Funny thing, I'd forgotten I'd even entered this comp so it was a lovely email to wake up to this morning. :)

Friday, November 16, 2007

An addiction

I'd like to pose the question: do all writers have a stationery addiction?

I do, and I know several others who do too.
Let me loose in an Officeworks and I'm in heaven!
I can never leave the place with the one item I need.
Oh no, uh-uh. Instead, I come out with a whole range of stuff I'll use 'one day'.

I can't help myself.

I love all those brightly coloured hard back notebooks (yes, I have several gorgeous ones just waiting to be used.)
I love those free-flowing pens.
I love the coloured note blocks.
Those gorgeous storage boxes...filing credenzas...labels...I could go on and on but you get the picture!

The other day I ran in there for a few envelopes and came out with a purple binder and matching notebook, which I'm about to put to good use with the new Harlequin Romance I'll start shortly. I tend to have my notes for a novel shoved into a clear plastic sleeve so this is definitely a step up. Tidy mind makes tidy work? We'll see!
Also picked up way too many envelopes, manila folders, a mini-ruler, stickers and a penguin stamp (my preschooler tossed those last 3 into the basket. A writer in the making, perhaps?) :)

Any other stationery addicts out there?
Come on, 'fess up. You know you want to.

Monday, November 12, 2007

COVER TO COVER: How much is too much

Rach asked a great question in response to my layering/editing post:

Just wondering about how long your mss are when you finish your first draft! And whether that means adding words or taking them away.

I'm a bit of a perfectionist so my first draft is pretty much close to the finished product.
What I mean by this is that I write the book consecutively, from start to finish, without jumping around to various scenes.
I try to make it the best it can be, without getting stuck on the exact word or making sure a description is spot on.
For these, I highlight in bright green so when I start the layering and editing process, my eyes are instantly drawn to the word that needs to be tweaked or the paragraph that needs more description.
Then I go through a rough mental checklist (many of the points I listed in the previous post) to really tighten the story.

So my first draft tends to be pretty much spot on with word count. And it usually means adding words with the layering.

Please remember this is only one person's viewpoint.
I know authors who move from scene to scene, who might write the end of the book before the middle, who get inspired by a particular scene and will write that first before the beginning.

I'm a bit of a plotter and like to have the book roughly outlined while I'm writing, sometimes before I start (see earlier Cover to Cover post) so for me, writing in chronological order and having the book pretty close to my outline tends to make the book flow and not need a lot of tweaking.

Whether you have to cut words or add them to your first draft, it doesn't matter. Making the story the best it can be is what it's all about :)

Friday, November 09, 2007

New cover

I've been waiting for my hardback copies of my next Romance EXECUTIVE MOTHER-TO-BE to arrive for a few weeks...and nada!

Well, thanks to Trish who pointed me towards Barnes and Noble today, I now have the cover :)

What do you think?

Nate and Kristen are both very business oriented in this book, and Kris is an older heroine who never thought she'd have kids so the cover is pretty spot on.
I wish it could be a little more romantic though...both Trish Wylie and Fiona Harper have books out in Feb too and their covers are absolutely gorgeous!!!

Baby is sick again so my intentions to do a Cover to Cover post have been delayed again. Sorry! I'll finish editing COURTING CUPID tonight and will pop the post up here tomorrow. Hopefully...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Mouse problems!

I'm thankful to say, they aren't real mice, thank goodness but my PC mouse went kaput yesterday. My second in the last year!
So had to troup to PC shop, buy new mouse and keyboard, wait whole day for it to charge...and here I am.

Loads has happened.
My baby post the other morning must've got things moving for my bud Ally, as later that day I got a text message saying she's had a baby girl!
Congrats Ally, I'm thrilled for you!!!! And can't wait to meet the gorgeous girl :)
I have over 170 emails to get through.
I have a book to finish editing.
I have a Cover to Cover post to do here.
I have to participate in an online course which I signed up for but haven't got the time to make full use of yet.
I have to send off an interview I've done for that magazine I mentioned a while back.
I have to tidy house for fab writing friends to descend on Sat morning (our first meeting in months!)
Life is busy.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

And they're off!

Today is the running of the Melbourne Cup, the race that stops a nation.

Over one hundred thousand will flock to Flemington racecourse, frocked and suited up, to socialise and have a flutter or two.

The Spring Racing Carnival has become a huge social event in Melbourne, so much so it inspired a book around this time 2 years ago: INHERITED: BABY, featuring my horse strapper heroine and set at Flemington. If you haven't read it, check it out (enter the comp on my website and you can win your choice of a book from my backlist!)

Speaking of babies, can you believe my bub is 6 months old now?
Time has flown.
There is so much to love about him...
-his gorgeous sweet milky smell
-his loud chuckles when I snuggle my nose into his neck
-his loud chattering...even in the middle of the night!
-his good morning smile
-his hands reaching up to explore my face
-his screwed up expression when tasting food for the first time yesterday
-his wide-eyed amazement when his brother does something new

I could go on...and on...and on...
Being a mum is the greatest gift in the world. :)

Writing-wise, started editing COURTING CUPID last night. Very nice surprise to find I'm 69 pages in and the book is a lot tighter than I anticipated. Looks like all my research on characterisation paid off! Will blog about it towards end of the week.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

It's official: book 15 sold!

I now have a title and release date for my 4th Modern Heat (and 15th book!)

HOT NIGHTS WITH THE PLAYBOY will be released in June 08 (yes, another simultaneous release, as my Harlequin Romance THE DESERT PRINCE'S PROPOSAL also hits the shelves in June!)

The title is spot on: Judd Calloway is a photographer who has spent the last 8 years travelling the world (and has a teensy weensy playboy reputation) and when he meets up with his best friend, Abby Weiss on a Whitsunday island, there's plenty of steam, loads of hot nights...

When I get a spare minute (ha!) I'll be popping the usual excerpt and 'under the covers' (behind the scenes goss) on my website.

Hopefully some time this weekend...or not...

Will try, promise!

Friday, November 02, 2007

The launch!

The book launch for SIZZLE, SEDUCE & SIMMER last night was absolutely fantastic!!
Dymocks bookshop in the heart of Melbourne is huge and the perfect venue for a launch.
About 100 people turned out for this event and it was fabulous to be surrounded by so many author friends who contributed to the book.
As Marion Lennox says in the intro, this is a friendship book.
It started from the regular lunches we have as a group and developed from there.
It's truly satisfying to see our collective work in one, fantastic book. And the recipes are yummy! I've already tried the Sinfully Delicious Seed Slice...twice!!
(Pity in my rush to bundle baby and sick mum out the door and into the car last night I left the slice in the fridge rather than taking it to the launch where it was supposed to be!!)

A great evening was had by all. And I had my first taste of a book signing on a larger scale...was great fun!!
Here are some of the talented, wonderful authors who feature in this book: (from left to right) Fiona MacArthur, moi, Bronwyn Jameson, Fiona Lowe, Amy Andrews, Valerie Parv, Marion Lennox, Anne Gracie, Stephanie Laurens, Trish Morey, Carol Marinelli and Keri Arthur.
Aren't the pinafores cute?
I'm so proud to be a part of this book.
Thanks to everyone who turned out last night (and who bought copies of the book as gifts for their friends.) Remember, it would make a fabulous Christmas present: romance and recipes in one book, what more could you ask for? :)
(Pop back tomorrow for news of my 15th book. The title is fab!!)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Where am I today?

The start of another month...and how many days till Christmas? Sheesh! Where has this year got to?

I'm blogging at the PHS society about why I love the Harlequin Modern Heat series. And yes, there will be the usual sexy hero pics. Need you ask? ;)

Tonight, I'm off to my very first book launch at Dymocks in the city, at Australia on Collins.

I was thrilled to be a part of SIZZLE, SEDUCE & SIMMER, the fabulous short story and recipe anthology collated by Marion Lennox.

Hope to see you there! If you can't make it, pick up your copy here. It will make a great Chrissie present!