Monday, January 31, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weekend Book Club: How to Bake a Perfect Life

I'm preloading this as I rush out the door for a weekend at the beach so am going to keep it brief.

Barbara O'Neal is my favourite women's fiction author.

Her books are lush, evocative and so beautifully written the pages turn themselves.
She has an incredible gift for tapping into human emotion, then bringing that alive between the pages of her books.

Her latest, HOW TO BAKE A PERFECT LIFE, is no exception.

Filled with food and recipes and real characters and romance, you absolutely must read it.

She's the only author who is guaranteed to make me cry and I never, ever cry when I read.

Do yourself a favour and read this book.
Then glom her backlist.

You'll thank me.

What are you reading this week?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Finding time to write

I've extolled the virtues of speed writing and ways to do it in another post so today, I'm focussing on something different.
How do you find the time to write?
For me, it's making the opportunity the write.
If preschooler is playing at my feet, I write.
If he's blowing bubbles out the back, I write.
If he's watching Playschool, I write.
Do I feel guilty at times? Sure do. Surely I should be interacting with him all the time?
Yet I spend every day with my kids for the bulk of the day, I'm very hands-on so I guess these few snatched half hours here and there aren't too bad.
And I need them.
I have deadlines, some that fluctuate, like my current one.
I need to write 35K in a week.
In school holidays.
So far, I've managed 20 pages the first day, 26 yesterday and the bulk of those were written while the kids played around me.
We do what we have to do to find the time to write.
Here's a great post on ways to find that time.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm back!

Arrived back from hols yesterday and really need to hit the ground running.

Must write about 35K words in the next week.

Plus school starts end of this week.

And I'm going away to the beach over the weekend.

Plus another million and one other things that must be done.

Promise to fill you in on all the holiday goss...when I get a minute to breathe!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Twitter buddies

Most of you know about my Twitter addiction.

I love the briefness of it.
I love the immediacy.
I love it so much I wrote a book featuring it.

But most of all I love how I've connected with so many people world-wide I would never have known otherwise.

Joan Swan is one of those people and I was thrilled when I received an email from her, including me in her mega New Year book giveaway.

For every day in January, she's giving away latest releases by writers who've enriched her writing life.

To find out the whole list and how to win a copy of my book today, visit here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Weekend Book Club: Red-Hot Renegade

If you've never read category romance before, you should start with this book.

Kelly Hunter's RED-HOT RENEGADE bears her trademark rich, vibrant, emotionally complex characters that have you turning pages at a rapid rate.

Here's the blurb:

Can she keep her hands off her super-sexy ex? In desperate need of protection, Jianne Xang-Bennett reluctantly turns to her estranged husband, martial arts expert Jacob Bennett, for help. But there are problems: they’ve been separated for twelve years and cannot be in the same room together without arguing or ripping each other’s clothes off – sometimes at the same time! But Jacob will go to extremes for those he loves, and Jianne is the only woman who can bring this honourable warrior to his knees. Can they delve beneath their red-hot desire and blazing anger to find the love that has always been hiding?

I loved everything about this book: the Singapore setting, the dojo, the hint of suspense, the secondary characters who've all had their stories told in previous books, the Asian heroine but most of all, I loved the martial arts hero.

Jake is superb. And the sexual tension between him and Ji...phew! Pages burn!

I can't recommend this book highly enough.

What are you reading this week?

Friday, January 21, 2011

But somebody's gotta do it

I know, I know, it's a tough life but somebody's gotta do it!

The bulk of my book takes place at the Gold Coast's PALAZZO VERSACE, so it's only fair I do some first hand research for authenticity's sake.
Arguably Australia's most luxurious hotel, the place looks truly amazing on the Net but not enough details for my book so I made a reservation.
I'll let you know all the details when I get back.
And guess what? They have cabanas by the pool!
Wonder if they'll have cabana boys...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's a hard life

This is where the first scene in my current WIP, The High Life, takes place.

I had to do first hand research to check it out, swimming late at night on the 27th floor, with the incredible view.

Staying a night at the Crown Metropol in Melbourne was not a hardship.

Come back tomorrow and see where I've been staying earlier this week, all in the name of research.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New cover alert

Here's the newest cover for DESERTED ISLAND, DREAMY EX, currently a launch title for the new M&B RIVA series in the UK.

This will hit Aussie & NZ shelves next week.
What do you think?
That island and ocean look mighty tempting...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


As of last Sunday, I'm away on a much needed, well earned holiday.
I took this pic of Queensland's sunny Gold Coast 5 years ago, the last time I had a proper holiday.

Considering the recent deluge they've had, I'm hopeful for this kind of weather. Doubtful, but hopeful.

First 2 days is research, the rest is blissful, fun family time.

I've preloaded a bunch of posts here to keep you occupied while I'm away.

Bet you won't even miss me!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Weekend Book Club: Clockwork Angel

Once I started Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel, I was extremely reluctant to put it down.

Book 1 in the Infernal Devices trilogy (a prequel to her bestselling Mortal Instruments series), I got sucked into her Victorian steampunk world so swiftly the pages practically turned themselves.

I've heard the 'steampunk' label bandied around for a while as the next 'hot' thing and with this being my first foray into steampunk it certainly won't be my last. (Eagerly awaiting the release of Clockwork Prince later this year!)

So what's it about?

Magic is dangerous - but love is more dangerous still... When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray arrives in England during the reign of Queen Victoria, something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Friendless and hunted, Tessa seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters, a band of warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons. Drawn ever deeper into their world, she finds herself fascinated by - and torn between - two best friends, and quickly realizes that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Go ahead and enter the Downworld.
A cracking good read awaits!

What are you reading this week?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Miss Snark's new contest

If you write YA & middle grade fiction, Miss Snark is running a contest.

Full details here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stranded with your fantasy

Today, I'm guest blogging with fellow Riva author Liz Fielding and giving away a copy of DESERTED ISLAND, DREAMY EX.
To be in the running, head on over and leave a comment, revealing who you'd like to be stranded on a deserted island with (and no, NOT your other half, this is fantasy land, remember?)

Friday, January 07, 2011

Agent looking for adult fiction

The fabulous Suzie Townsend has updated her submissions guidelines and is actively looking to build her adult fiction list.

For the lowdown, check here.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The company we keep

I received a New Year's email from a few friends, with loads of cute pics & captions, and one caught my eye.

May you find the perfect balance in the company you keep.
In the first week of a new year, this really hit home.

People come and go in our lives.
We can make friends in the most unlikely places and find friends we've known for years drift out of our lives for unknown reasons.

I've given up trying to analyse people's motivations (unless it's my characters!)

Instead, I prefer to surround myself with friends who want to be there: friends who make me dream and laugh and natter like there's no tomorrow.
Friends who rejoice in my success and are happy for me.
Friends who will be there for me no matter what.

And this applies doubly to my writing.

If you're a writer, surround yourself with positive people.

You'll have enough of the other sort, the ones who snicker behind your back, the ones who rubbish what you write while smiling to your face, the ones who are condescending and superior and jealous. Nix these.

Creativity needs to be nurtured and negativity is an emotional time-suck.

As one wise sporting company once promoted: "life's short, play hard."

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Cool down in summer

While the summer temperatures heat up in Australia & NZ, you can cool down by visiting Alaska vicariously through WILD NIGHTS WITH HER WICKED BOSS.

Remember Rhys, who cameo'd in OVERTIME IN THE BOSS'S BED last year?
Well, the younger Cartwright brother has his own story to tell so go check it out (and yes, Callum does put in an appearance or two!)

(Also for those eagle eyes who've spotted the change on this cover, yes, the Sexy Sensations in OZ/NZ are now straight Harlequin Sexy. Now I'm Sweet & Sexy!)

Monday, January 03, 2011

New year, new releases!

Happy new year to you all!
With the new year brings a brand new series to Mills & Boon in the UK, the fun, flirty RIVA!

I'm thrilled that my DESERTED ISLAND, DREAMY EX is one of the launch titles, alongside the fabulous Jessica Hart, Kelly Hunter & Kimberly Lang.

Go check out these wonderful books.

And to clear up any confusion, as of this month in the UK, all my books will be released under the Riva series.

So if you're a previous fan of my M&B Romances, you'll find my books in Riva.

You'll also find my Modern Heat books in Riva, which is basically my Romance voice...with sex!

If in any doubt, or if you prefer the 'sweeter' side of Nicola Marsh, check my website for clear delineation between titles.

Tomorrow, my latest OZ/NZ release...