Monday, May 31, 2010

Bid on me!

Today's the last day to bid over at Brenda Novak's online charity auction.

There are some amazing things on offer so go check it out and do your bit for diabetes.

For writers targeting Harlequin Romance or Modern Heat, I'm offering a critique so go bid on me!

Bidding currently at $80 and last year I was snapped up for $400 so come on people, dig deep. I'm worth it :)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Weekend Book Club: Shade

Scheduled for release this month, I'd already seen this book hyped on Twitter and was looking forward to reading it when lo and behold, the Book Fairy (AKA the fabulous Suzie Townsend) sent me a copy.

I devoured it in 2 days.

Jeri Smith-Ready writes urban fantasy and this is her YA debut.

First in a worldwide generation of ghost-seers, Aura's relationship with the dead changes forever when her boyfriend dies and comes back to haunt her.

Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.
Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.
Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.
Well, sort of.
Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan’s violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.
It doesn't help that Aura’s new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.
As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart…and clues to the secret of the Shift.

Along with a unique plot, the writing sizzles.
An absolute page turner, I couldn't put it down. And I immediately tweeted Jeri when I finished to find out when the sequel is out (Shift in May 2011, way too long to wait!)

If you like tight writing, realism, memorable characters and serious chemistry between Aura and the two guys in her life, her dead boyfriend Logan and hot Scot Zachary, go grab this book.
You won't be disappointed.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Publishing is a fluid industry.
Ever-changing, challenging, trends come and go.
So as an author, how do you survive?
It's a quality schools are big on instilling in kids.
About learning how to cope with hard knocks.
About moving on when things don't go your way.
About adapting.
About learning to forge ahead when things are against you.
Here's a publishing example:
People congratulate me on selling 24 books in 6 years. While not easy, some assume that once you get a contract with Harlequin Mills and Boon that you can keep writing for them for infinity.
The reality for me? I've had 5 editors and they've all been brilliant but after I had my first child I wrote 2 books in 8 weeks.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Maybe it was being high on happy hormones?
Maybe the lack of sleep?
Maybe because I'd worked full time until then and suddenly had loads of time on my hands while baby slept?
Whatever the reason, I wrote those books and thought they were brilliant.
And they didn't sell.
I'd had a change of editor and those books didn't fly.
So what did I do?
Worked on a few proposals, found one she liked and wrote that book instead.
That book too was on the verge of rejection but I knew I could revise it so I did and it sold.
After selling 5 books with barely a revision, those 2 rejections could've knocked me down.
I could've stopped writing, bemoaned the fact I'd never sell another book, whatever.
Instead, I used the experience to spur me on.
I wanted to take my writing to the next level.
Resilience=how we cope when the going gets tough.
Once you're published, there is no magical fairy godmother who waves a wand over all your manuscripts and makes them instantly publishable.
You still need to work at it.
You still need to produce your best work time and time again to secure more contracts.
You still need to keep striving.
I do.
Every single day when I sit down at my keyboard I want to prove to myself I can still do this, that I can go one better.
It's what drives me. What keeps me up and writing when the trends change and sales you expect don't materialise and the book of your heart isn't what's hot right now.
There are loads of resources to learn writing craft.
Only you can refine resilience.
(PS. Those 2 rejected manuscripts? Reworked and sold a few years later. One was MARRIAGE: FOR BUSINESS OR PLEASURE? a recent RT Top Pick. Another of my mottos? Never say never!)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another keeper review

This time by the fabulous folks over at CataRomance.

Here's what they had to say about OVERTIME IN THE BOSS'S BED (hitting US shelves next week!)

"Consistently entertaining, wholly absorbing and fabulously readable, Nicola Marsh’s romances are simply too good to miss and her latest sensational novel for Harlequin Presents: Overtime in the Boss’s Bed is certainly no exception!"

"Fast-paced, sassy, sexy and sparkling with witty repartee, delicious humour and sizzling sensuality, Overtime with the Boss’s Bed is a fabulous page-turner readers will devour in a single sitting! With a charismatic heroine, a drop dead gorgeous hero, heartfelt emotion, electrifying sensuality and engrossing pathos, Overtime with the Boss’s Bed is feel-good romance at it’s best!"

Aww...thanks! Full review here.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Weekend Book Club: Fallen

I first picked up this book when it was released but my To Be Read pile was staggering at the time (hmm...isn't it always?) so I didn't buy it.
Luckily, I changed all that this week and boy, am I glad I did.
Lauren Kate has woven a darkly romantic tale of fallen angels and the mortals they move amongst.
I can't say much here without giving away major plot points so all I'll say is the attraction between Luce and Daniel is fated. And watching them draw together over the course of the book is oh so delicious...
The interaction between the secondary characters makes for interesting reading too.
Roll on September 2010 when Torment, the next in the Fallen series, is released!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A keeper review

Check out this latest review for my upcoming release, OVERTIME IN THE BOSS'S BED.
Fresh, funny, flirty and feel-good who can resist one of Nicola Marsh's delectable category romances? Written with plenty of style and brimming with sassiness and sensuality, if you like Rachel Gibson, you'll adore Nicola Marsh and her latest Harlequin Presents novel Overtime in the Boss's Bed!
A fabulous tale which you will devour in a single sitting, Overtime in the Boss's Bed is a wonderful category romance by a writer who never lets her readers down! With a fabulously fun heroine, a sexy hero and lashings of witty dialogue, sizzling sex scenes, laugh out loud lines and moving pathos, Overtime in the Boss's Bed is another keeper from the stellar pen of Nicola Marsh!
Rachel Gibson is fab so to be compared to girl moment!
Thanks PHS reviews.
If you want to read the entire review, visit here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Check this out!

Discovering new covers for upcoming books is always a thrill, so I was pretty excited last night when google alert popped up a link for my September 2010 release, DESERTED ISLAND, DREAMY EX!

And when I checked it out...oh wow! Not just a cover but those fabulous words above my name...


Beyond cool! Made me so starry-eyed I almost forgot to check out the cover itself, which I love, by the way!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Slave to the keyboard

Worked like a maniac all day yesterday to get my soldier Harlequin Romance, Coming Home, back to my editor.

The book is now gone!

For the next fortnight, I'll be frantically revising 'Holly and Joss' for my lovely agent, whose insight is phenomenal.

Slave to the keyboard, that's me.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Weekend Book Club: Burned

Yes, I'm hooked on the 'House of Night' series, written by P.C. Cast and her daughter Kristin.

The first 6 books flew by and considering the cliffhanger at the end of book 6, I was really hanging out to read 'Burned', book 7. This week, I got that chance.

In the early books, I love how we really get to know the heroine, Zoey Redbird. Then as the books progress, we get more POVs with some of the important characters like Stevie Rae and Aphrodite.

In 'Burned', there are a LOT of POVs. Every chapter changes from one character to another and must admit, I found it a little disconcerting, especially when Zoey, the star attraction of the series, has limited page time.

And the supernatural stuff takes a leap into the unknown, bringing in a whole range of new stuff not mentioned in earlier books.
Writing a series this long is hard work and I respect the authors for carrying it through. I'm really interested in seeing where the new stuff heads in book 8, Awakened.

What are you reading this week?

Friday, May 14, 2010

French for a month

I'm still coughing up a lung.
Toddler now stricken down with nasty ear infection.

So going to keep this short and sweet.

THE BILLIONAIRE'S BABY out now in France.

'The Miracle of Love'...nice!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

6 years after The Call

It has been 6 years since I first got The Call.

How can that be, when it feels like I only just sold my first book?

So what have I learned in that time?

The publishing industry is fluent and ever-changing. Learn to roll with it.

You're only as good as your last book.

Revisions are a good thing. A great thing, in fact.

You can create a great plot, you can't create a great voice. Use yours wisely. Hone it.

Reviews are the subjective viewpoint of one reader. Focus on the positive, ignore the negative.

Give back to the industry that gives you so much.

Surround yourself with positive people. Negativity/jealousy is a major energy sap.

Be grateful, very grateful, when the cover fairies wave their magic wand for you.

Social networking is fun and a productive promotional tool, but the book comes first.

Stray out of your comfort zone, explore your creativity, write something different. You never know what the result will be.

I'm sure I've learned loads more than that but that'll do for starters.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pineapple book

All you writers out there, ever had a pineapple book?

Trish Wylie coined the phrase a few years back when she likened writing a difficult book to giving birth to a pineapple-excrutiating!

While my current Harlequin Romance isn't quite that bad, it's nudging into pineapple territory.

Because I write a clean first draft in one continuous go, leaving COMING HOME after starting it last year (for a variety of reasons) and returning to writing it now is causing problems.

The characters aren't as fun and flirty as my usual ones.
The book is too angsty.
And there's a kid.

I haven't written a kid for 15 books. And he's only serving to complicate matters...

So while I'm determined to make fruit salad out of this half-pineapple, this is one book I can't wait to reach the end of.
Revisions, here I come!

Monday, May 10, 2010

OZ cover revamp

Some of the Harlequin series have had cover revamps in Australia lately, with Sweet being one of them.
With more of a mainstream feel, I love them.

Here's my first in the new covers.

THREE TIMES A BRIDESMAID...hits OZ shelves in June, but can be bought right now online!

Speaking of online, OVERTIME IN THE BOSS'S BED hit the eHarlequin Top 10 Bestsellers last week, and did the same over the weekend for ebooks. Yay!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Weekend Book Club: The Secret of Everything

If there is one book you read this year, Barbara O'Neal's THE SECRET OF EVERYTHING is it.

Devoured in a day and a half (no mean feat for a busy mum and writer!) I fell into the richness of the story-the food, the scenery, Barbara's evocative way with words and the lush characters.

And they are lush. Lush with reality and life experience and heart-ache, so poignant in parts I cried (and I rarely cry when reading.)

While Tessa is troubled, I wanted to be her, for the simple fact she got to be with Vince.
As a hero, he is magnificent.
Single dad of 3 girls, he is beyond sexy. Thanks to Barbara's amazing way with words.

Read this book.
You'll thank me.

What are you reading this week?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Lovely postman

I love it when the postman delivers fun stuff like books (the bills I could do without!)

So imagine my delight when the other day, author copies of both these books arrive at the same time!

My action-packed story TAG TEAM is in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF SPECIAL OPS ROMANCE, something I'm really looking forward to reading considering the other authors in the book.

And the same applies to DESTINATION: SUMMER WEDDINGS. I'm itching to read Lucy Gordon's and Jessica Hart's fab stories.

But first, I'm wallowing in the luxury of Barbara O'Neal's THE SECRET OF EVERYTHING. So hard when you're loving a book so much you don't want it to end, yet you have fab stuff waiting on your TBR pile!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

More travels

This month, TWO WEEKS IN THE MAGNATE'S BED is out in Italy.

And A TRIP WITH THE TYCOON is out in Germany.
Don't you love the foreign covers?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Armchair travels

This month in the UK, I'm thrilled to be partnered with Liz Fielding in our Harlequin Romance duo.
Liz's story, A WEDDING AT LEOPARD TREE LODGE, is fabulous!
Part of the HR 'Escape Around the World' miniseries, Gideon and Josie meet in Botswana, while Josie is overseeing the celebrity wedding of the year.
The sparks flying between these two delightful characters kept me rapidly turning pages, and left me wanting to know more about them at the end (a sure sign of a great book!)
As for Gideon...he is truly droolworthy!
The setting, the characters and the snappy plot make this story a definite winner.
Go check out more on Liz's blog.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Critique up for auction.


Brenda Novak's auction to raise funds for kids' diabetes has started.
It runs all month so please check it out and bid!

I'm donating a critique so for all you writers targetting Harlequin Romance or Harlequin Modern Heat/Presents Extra, snaffle it!

It's a worthy cause so please give generously.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Weekend Book Club: Last Chance

While I'm on my YA kick, I've heard several fans of the genre rave about Sarah Dessen, so this week my copy of 'Last Chance' arrived and I quickly became absorbed.
Sarah's characterisation is superb. Real people to make me smile.
And when the book ended, I was left wanting more: more of their lives, more of their future, just more.
Always a sign of a good book, when the characters stay with you after you've closed the final page.
What are you reading this week?