Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Handy characterisation checklist

Agent Rachelle Gardner has a great post on what fiction editors look for, which can be used as a handy checklist to ensure your characters are leaping off the page. Check it out here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Which will make you more money?

Self publishing or traditional publishing? Nathan Bransford does a great breakdown of the figures here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The latest self-publishing goss

Hot on the heels of the news last week about Barry Eisler turning down $500 000 with St. Martin's Press, self-publishing giant Amanda Hocking has accepted a 2 million advance for 4 books guessed it, St Martin's Press. Those 4 books will be new books, a YA series called 'Watersong'. Interesting times we live in, huh? And here's news of another well known author, Connie Brockway, going the self-publishing route, in her interview with All About Romance. Read the comments too. Interesting to see many people like me, who don't own e-readers and have no intention of buying one (I just love the feel and smell of books too much!) express their concerns about not having access to these books. But as someone points out, you can read on your PC. Something I could never do but hey, I'm just addicted to the feel and smell of paper. :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Weekend Book Club can pick 'em!

I'm absolutely thrilled to hear Kelly Hunter has finalled in the RITAs with Red-Hot Renegade.
(You can find my rave review for her here)

Kelly's books are fab but this one is my favourite. (I'm biased and proud of it!)

And another huge shout-out to Marion Lennox, a lovely lady and fab writer for her nomination, along with the gorgeous Melissa McClone (yay, Harlequin Romance!)

Congrats to all the RITA and GH nominees.
Enjoy the ride!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Book 28 sold!

The book set at Palazzo Versace and courtesy of some strenuous first-hand research 2 months ago, has sold!
Roman and Ava's story will be released in the UK as a Harlequin Riva in Dec this year, with USA release date to follow.
Title unknown...will let you know as soon as my editor passes it on!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Editing tips

Great article over at Larry Brooks STORYFIX about editing your manuscript.

Love the right brain/left brain pic!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Would you turn down half a million?

Today I woke to the news that author Barry Eisler has turned down a $500 000 contract with St. Martin's Press to self publish.

Wow. Simply wow.

Read about it here, in his chat with Joe Konrath.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Art of the page turner

Check out this great article by Hallie Ephron over at Writer's Digest, where she discusses tools to keep your readers hooked.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekend Book Club: Dead in the Family

I must be the last person on the planet to have read a Sookie Stackhouse novel.

DEAD IN THE FAMILY is the 10th in the Sookie series and rather than go back to the start and read the lot, I delved in.

Despite not knowing the characters (and there were a lot of them!) I was sucked into the story courtesy of the author's voice.

Charlaine Harris has a way of weaving words together that make you want to turn the pages, despite not knowing much of the background already woven into this popular series.

A brief rundown of the book:

Sookie is a telepath.
Her lover, Eric, is a big-shot vampire.
Her cousin Claude is a fairy.
Her brother Jason is a were-panther.
And the cast just gets bigger and better from there!

I've never watched Trueblood either, inspired by this book series. Would be interesting viewing...

What are you reading this week?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why some self-published books fail

I'm a member of NINC (Novelists INC.) a wonderful organisation of authors from various genres.

Here's a great post on their blog, 7 Reasons why Self-Published E-books fail.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Myth busting

Rachelle Gardner has been doing some agent myth busting over the last few days.

Check it out here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Operation Auction

I'm saddened to hear the tragic news of Fatin's (an eharlequin member and avid reviewer) loss and the senseless, horrific way she lost her husband.

Friends are putting together a series of auctions to raise money for her and her kids.

Operation Auction

Please check it out.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Limbo land is that strange place writers visit between books.
When we've just finished writing a story and are eager to jump into the next.
When we're waiting to hear from an editor/agent on a query or submission.
When we know what we want to write next but we're too scared to start.
Limbo land is a tempting place to be.
We get to catch up on reading and experience the joy of plucking the next must-read off our TBR pile.
We get to swim and go to the park and spend hours in the museum, hours we wouldn't have while on deadline.
We get to watch mindless TV just because we can.
Limbo land is an essential part of being a writer. Refilling the well is a must. Clearing the mind of our old characters to allow the new to jump in there and demand their story.
I love the possibilities of limbo land, love the excited tingle of new stories begging to be written.
But limbo land can also be a scary place.
Limbo land can sap your confidence as you wait to hear from your editor/agent.
It can tempt you with the aforementioned TV/books/ you'd rather be doing that than thinking about your next story.
It can allow the self-doubt you usually ignore by writing 2000 words a day to rise up and make you question if you have it in you to write another book...and another...and another after that.
Yes, I'm in limbo land at the moment.
It has been a fun place to be over the weekend when I've refilled the well with loads of family fun and swimming and reading.
But come today, when I'm back to work on Monday, those self-doubts are niggling.
The solution?
Because writing soothes and sweeps away those doubts.
Because writing makes everything simpler and feel right.
Goodbye limbo land, hello sparkly new idea!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The lowdown on self-publishing

I keep abreast of publishing developments.

I'm a member of several writing organisations, I'm on loops for these organisations, I read the digests.

I don't think I've been living under a rock but I hadn't heard the name Amanda Hocking until recently.

Self-publishing talk is exploding all over the Net in a big way.

Here are 2 posts you have to read.

The first, by Nathan Bransford (read 'Amanda Hocking & the 99 cent kindle millionaires', including the comments.)

Next, read Donna Ball, where she gives her real figures on self-publishing.

We live in interesting times...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bag a bargain

If you haven't discovered the wonderful BOOK DEPOSITORY yet, do yourself a favour and check it out.

Fab books, great prices, free shipping worldwide!

And my upcoming May releases, SEX, GOSSIP & ROCK & ROLL + HER BAD, BAD BOSS are available for pre-order at 25% off!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Goals for writers

Guest blogger Mary Demuth had a great post on agent Rachelle Gardner's blog last week, about 3 Goals for Writers.

1. Writers should create 2 teams

2. As writers we should consider ourselves assets

3. We should resolve catastrophic thinking

Read the post here.
Much of it resonated with me.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

High school French good for something

I love the French covers and this one is no exception.

THREE TIMES A out now in France and from my Year 10 high school French, I'm guessing the title is 'Fiance for a day.'

And what's even cooler, it's a duo with my Irish buddy Trish Wylie (who needs to stop going to RWA conferences in the US and come to an Aussie conference one day soon! Trish, you listening?)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


OVERTIME IN THE BOSS'S BED is out now in Germany.

I'm no translator, but when I first glanced at the title I chuckled, because it looks like 'So Pickled with Champagne'!!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Hot nights revisited

Have learned that my book being reprinted for the PASSIONATE PLAYBOYS anthology is HOT NIGHTS WITH A PLAYBOY.

Remember Judd, Abby and a Whitsunday island?

This book didn't get a USA release so if you missed it first time around, here's your chance to snaffle it, along with fab stories by Ally Blake & Kim Lawrence.

It hits UK shelves in May but you can pre-order at the Book Depository, which currently has it at 25% off with free postage worldwide!
Grab it here.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A new fan

It's always lovely to get a glowing review and here's one from a new-to-me reader for this book.

Here's a snippet from Danielle's review:

Although I’m not a big fan of the reunited lovers theme, Ms. Marsh handles it well.
Also, I love seeing heroines who are successful in their careers, and financially independent, on equal to the heroes.
Ms. Marsh did a great job of showing me who Nick was, revealing his emotional vulnerabilities in a way that I wish was done more often in the Harlequin Presents books. Instead of Brittany being the only one who seemed emotionally at risk, it was clear that Nick had a lot at stake on that level as well. I liked that Nick and Brittany had been friends since childhood, and their love grew out of their bond. It must have made their separation that much more painful. I appreciated that time was taken to show the rebuilding of Brittany and Nick’s relationship outside of the sexual aspect. That would have been way too easy to show them jumping into intimacy when they had to work to rebuild the trust between them that was lost when they parted.
This was a good, quick Saturday read, and I’m glad to know I have more of Nicola Marsh’s books in my tbr pile to read. She has a way with words and writes a very good romance.

You can read the rest here.
And she's kindly posted her review on Goodreads, which is a huge bonus, as it stimulates discussion and recommendations to other readers.
Good stuff.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Immersion therapy

Currently immersed in revisions for THE HIGH LIFE.
One of the changes involves removing my fictitious Greek island for the last 20% of the story and concentrating the entire book here, at the Palazzo Versace, where I recently researched the book before writing it.
I took loads of pics while I was there (I only posted 2 here not to bore you!) and flicking back through them really helps at this layering stage.
Can't you see how hard I worked during the research phase of this book?