Thursday, March 27, 2008

Another bestseller!

Hot on the heels of my first Harlequin Presents, PURCHASED FOR PLEASURE hitting the Nielson National Bestseller list last month, I've discovered my current release, MISTRESS TO THE TYCOON, has done the same!


That's about all I have the energy to post today...took preschooler to a Shrek the Third stage show today and while it was fun, having over a hundred screaming kids is a little tiring.

Or maybe that's due to the fact my other darling little boy is probably teething and I didn't get to bed last night till 3.30am!!!

'night...see you in the morning...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hot cover!

Oh my...

Isn't this one super scorching hot cover?

There is a sizzling scene in the book which starts on the beach (in the waves to be precise!) before Judd and Abby make a run for her hotel room to continue the action and this cover encapsulates the passion, the heat, of that scene perfectly.

I love it!
The book hits UK shelves in June.

In other Modern Heat news, Kelly Hunter and Heidi Rice have finalled in the RITAs with Sleeping Partner and The Mile High Club respectively. Fabulous!
And fellow Romance author Natasha Oakley has finalled too, with The Tycoon's Princess Bride, my favourite category read of 07. Yay Natasha!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

North and South

Right, my thoughts on North and South.
It's a BBC mini-series based on the book by Elizabeth Gaskell, set in the 1850s, in the industrial town (whose livelihood depends on cotton mills) of Milton (actually Manchester.)
Wonderfully poignant and emotional, it's well worth watching. I'm so glad I purchased my DVD, for not only do you get the brilliant acting of Richard Armitage as John Thornton but you also get to see an interview with Richard.
I've never seen such a modest, self-deprecating actor...and
when he gives a slightly goofy grin and chuckles...well, he really is something and has a new fan in me.

I'm not going to rave on about the plot or the story itself.
Do yourself a favour, see it for yourself.
And I've just found another rather lovely picture of Richard I'll save for another day :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My questionable craft prowess

You asked for it.
Here is a pic of my first ever Easter bonnet.

My initial brilliant idea, to stick the chicks and rabbits on the glitter hat underneath didn't quite work...cos glue, even craft glue, won't stick to glitter I discovered. So dug up some tissue wrapping paper, a ribbon (from a Lindt chocolate gift box my fabulous publisher Harlequin sent on Valentine's Day) and a roll of sticky tape which worked much more effectively than the glue.

Voila! Rabbits front and back, chicks galore on top and one very happy little preschooler (who was supposed to help but got tired of it after sticking the first chick. He's a boy, what can I say?)

It was so gorgeous picking him up today, seeing him walk proudly towards me in his bonnet. So, so cute!

Now, I'm wondering if I can recycle it for next year ;)
As much fun (!) as I had making it, I think I'd rather stick to writing...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Slacking off

Now Bryce is just kicking around having fun at the beach...
Well, no, he's not actually doing that in THE DATING DILEMMA, but he looks like he's slacking off in this pic so thought I'd throw it in just for fun.
This is the first chance I've had to log on all day.
Busy making Easter bonnets and baby food and running around doing a host of stuff.
The Easter bonnet was rather spectacular, even if I do say so myself. I'm having too much fun with this kinder caper! :)
Will post a pic so you can all laugh at my craft prowess...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Meet Robyn Grady

Want to win a signed copy of this fabulous book? Plus books from Fiona Lowe and moi?

Check out our competition running via our websites! In the meantime, here's short interview with the fabulous Robyn Grady.

So...what event/situation inspired this book?

An unmarried friend of my eldest daughter had just fallen pregnant. It inspired me to write a marriage of convenience story with an ultra modern twist. There is, of course, a happily-ever- after, but the HEA a 21st century mother-to-be deserves, not merely feels she needs to accept.

Was it a book that flew from your fingers or gave you grief?

It did fly from my fingers! In about three weeks, actually. The characters were very real to me, and I was barracking for the heroine, Sophie Gruebella 100% all the way. The ending, when I wrote it, seemed so right for them both.

Who inspired the hero?

The latest James Bond...although Cooper Smith doesn’t look at all like Daniel Craig. However, he does possess the same “I’m dangerous but too sexy to resist” air about him.

Has it had more than one title?

It started out “Accidentally In Love”. But this title, well, it really says it all!

Where has it been released and where might it be released?

In the UK in April – available now. In Australia/NZ in June, and in US as a Presents, ‘The Australian Millionaire’s Love Child’, in July .

How did you celebrate the sale?

My husband brought home a bottle of imported champagne. He knows me so well :)

Thanks Robyn. Can' wait to read it! (and I drool over that cover every time I see it!)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Can I still do this?

It's the same every book.
I may have just finished one book, may have just finished revisions, taken a bit of time off to wind down/relax/whatever...then comes the time to start the next book.
Time to write something fresh.
And this is when the inevitable question pops up: can I still do this?
It's the weirdest thing but that little question can put a major dent in one's self confidence. What's even stranger this time around is that I'd already started THE DATING DILEMMA. I'd written the first chapter before revisions on 2 books came in so I went into hiatus.
So you'd think I wouldn't feel nervous, right?
Over the weekend I immersed myself in the characters, jotted down a few key scenes on paper, got a feel for Bryce and Eve again.
Then it happened.
The buzz. The flicker of excitement that accompanies a new book, any book really, when I feel the urge to sit at the keyboard and let those words flow.
So I did. Sat down last night and wrote 3000 words without realising it. Felt the immense satisfaction, the rush that accompanies those words and the knowledge I can still do this.
I love a new book. And I promise to share the low down on Bryce and Eve every step of the way.
Here's their collage for a start.
Do you get a feel for what they're like from the pics?

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Win more books!

No, I'm not giving away a stack of books this high this time (though come later in the year, stay tuned for another monster book giveaway!)
Starting Monday, I'm teaming up with the talented duo of Fiona Lowe (Harlequin Medical) and Robyn Grady (Harlequin Modern Heat & Silhouette Desire) in a competition to win our latest releases. So pop back then and join the fun :)
Oh, and I'm guest blogging over at Lucy Monroe's blog this weekend.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Number 16 sold!

Beth and Aidan's story has sold!

The BOSS'S BEDROOM AGENDA, featuring archaeologist Aidan Voss (who does a stint as CEO of Melbourne Museum) and metal sculptor Beth Walker, is my 5th Modern Heat title and will be released later this year (will confirm the dates tomorrow.)

Beth is one of my new favourite heroines! She's fun, flirty and has a serious shoe obsession! Throw in the fact she makes a mean lasagne (about the only thing she can cook), draws a mean bath (Aidan's first bath ever and boy, does it get steamy in there...) and hums an appropriate song for every occasion (Madonna's Immaculate Collection, Abba Gold, Prince and Pink all get a good workout in the book) and you can get an inkling of why I love her :)

Aidan is...well, Aidan is just seriously sexy.

My mouse batteries are about to die so I'll upload the brand new excerpt and all the behind the scenes 'Under the Cover' action to my website tonight.

Now, I have to attend to one very cute baby who has woken up at 6am today!

Monday, March 03, 2008

COVER TO COVER: Keeping the faith

Yes, the COVER TO COVER series is still going, following COURTING CUPID from its inception hopefully to its sale!

For a quick recap, this is a Harlequin Romance. I finished it last year, handed in to my editor but have had a few editor changes since so it was recently read.
My editor loved Blane, my laid back hero, but thought Camryn, my cynical heroine, needed some work!

So what did I do?
Revamped the whole story!

I went back to my original title, WISH UPON A VALENTINE and changed it back to a Valentine's Day story.
Not only that, I changed the whole plot!
From 2 strangers meeting, it became a second-chance marriage story.
Blane is still utterly gorgeous and now, Camryn is a softer heroine willing to take a chance on love again.

I worked really hard at this story and finished it Friday. I am thrilled with the results and I hope my editor is too!
So why am I rambling on about this?
To encourage you to keep the faith.

If a story isn't working for you, don't be afraid to change it. Maybe a character, maybe the whole plot! It's often difficult to slash words/scenes/chapters but if the story is stronger as a result, go for it!

If a character isn't working as you'd like, perhaps reconsider their motivation.
Are they behaving to type?
Are they truly likeable?
Will a reader want to support this person no matter what?
If their motivation is true, all their actions will be believable so don't be afraid to shake things up a little if your character isn't doing what you want.

If you can see the end of the story but the scenes leading up to it are a blur, resort to my old favourite: plotting on paper. Even a single sentence outlining the next scene/chapter can work wonders.

And as with any revisions, jot down the key points to look out for. I do this before I start the revisions, after the first read through, even the second, because it's amazing the things you miss.

So that's Blane and Camryn's rewrite.
I'll keep you posted!