Friday, April 29, 2011

Harlan Coben rocks

Harlan Coben is one of my favourite authors.

I love this frank interview posted yesterday at Writer's Digest.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thrown against the wall

Nathan Bransford has a great post about 'spaghetti' agents on his blog.

The kind of agents who take on a lot of clients and throw manuscripts out there to publishers hoping some will stick.

If you're a writer on the hunt for an agent or hope to be some day, please read.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

MOVIE MUSE: The Lincoln Lawyer

Writing is the best job in the world.
Where else can you watch movies and read books, all in the name of research!

While I don't get to the movies very often these days, I've decided to launch 'Movie Muse' to compliment my Weekend Book Club, where I'll review movies I see.


In a word? Wow!

Matthew McConaughey nails the role of lawyer Mickey Haller (from Michael Connelly's novel) perfectly.

I recently reviewed the book THE BRASS VERDICT, a follow up to The Lincoln Lawyer, and seeing the film makes me want to read the book all the more.

Ryan Phillipe gives a great portrayal of the villain: chilling. And the support cast are excellent.

I can't review the plot without major spoilers but suffice to say, there are twists and turns galore.

My only lament? Matthew doesn't get his shirt off enough :)

The muse rates this 8/10.

Friday, April 22, 2011

New titles!

I've had word from London that my December RIVA release featuring this man has a title.


Considering that's exactly what the heroine, Ava, gets to do at the fabulous Palazzo Versace, the title is rather apt.

And the book I've just started writing is already scheduled and titled:

WHO WANTS TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE? will be a Jan Riva/Harlequin Romance release.

Guess I better write Rory and Gemma's story pronto!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


My 7 yo is having so much dental work at the moment my head is spinning.
Fillings, root canals, you name it, he's having it.

And yesterday was his first orthodontic visit, where I learned he'll need to wear braces on his top teeth for a year.

At 7!

He had the most beautifully straight baby teeth and lost his first 4 over summer.
Unfortunately, due to crowding, the top 2 are crooked and not leaving much room for the rest when they come down.
So we need spacing and straightening.

I know it won't hurt much and I know he'll cope admirably but he's pretty sensitive and the thought of him going through teasing so early...

Hey, I'm a mum.
It's my job to worry :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Querying agents

Read this interesting post by agent Rachelle Gardner on 13 Ways to Screw up your Query.

I'm truly left shaking my head over some of the ways people approach agents...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Snail mail

I love receiving letters, always have. In high school, my best friend and I used to trade notes almost daily. In uni over summers, my best friend and I used to write long, elaborate letters, detailing our lives. These days, email is quick and convenient but I miss those days of letter writing, so it's always a thrill when a reader takes the time to write me a letter. That said, responding by email is so much easier so please, if you're taking the time to write to me, include your email address. If you don't have one and that's why you're writing, please enclose that in your letter. So for Ann Bailey, who took the time to write to say she enjoyed Wild Nights with her Wicked Boss and wondered if there were connecting stories...yes, Ann, Callum has his own story in Overtime in the Boss's Bed. Enjoy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

No time to fear the blank page

Finished writing my YA novel last week, 60K in 4 weeks, and planned on taking a week off before starting my Harlequin Romance due end of May. Not to be. Discovered the book is scheduled for Jan 2012 which means I need to write it NOW. I've made a start and enjoying the change between genres immensely. You've already met my hero, Rory Devlin. First scene is in his POV. In fact, I think much of this book is going to be his POV, surprising for a Romance. Interesting developments ahead! And another month of intensive writing...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weekend Book Club: The Brass Verdict

I was first introduced to Michael Connelly through his cop character Harry Bosch and was hooked! THE BRASS VERDICT is a legal thriller, featuring lawyer Mickey Haller. I bought it a while ago and have had it on my TBR pile, so when I picked it up this week I didn't realise it was book 2 of the Mickey Haller series, the first being THE LINCOLN LAWYER, currently a movie starring Matthew McConaughey. (I don't get to the movies much these days. Only movie I've seen in the last few years is Toy Story 3 but I'm definitely making time for The Lincoln Lawyer, for many reasons!) As a character, Mickey Haller is intelligent, quick-witted and human, with enough vulnerabilities to stop him from straying into cocky territory. This is a real skill by the author, to keep us from disliking him. I adore thrillers and this one had great twists at the end. And having Harry Bosch as a secondary character throughout made things interesting too. Anyone seen The Lincoln Lawyer? Thoughts? Do you recommend it? Or should I wait for DVD? What are you reading this week?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cover love

Last week, I revealed the UK Riva cover for GIRL IN A VINTAGE DRESS. Without further ado, here's the USA cover. I love, love, love the fact she's vintage from head to toe and looks exactly how I pictured my heroine: dress, hair, make-up, fab! (and thanks to Donna Alward for working magic on the PDF copy so I could post here!)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Agent blogs

Think I've mentioned before, if you're interested in finding an agent, GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS is a great blog to follow. Today, they list their choices for Best Agent blogs 2010. Check it out (the sidebar has fabulous links to loads of agent blogs too.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How to Craft Compelling Characters

There's a fabulous article on HOW TO CRAFT COMPELLING CHARACTERS by David Corbett over at Writer's Digest today. He elaborates on: CHARACTERISTICS OF COMPELLING CHARACTERS: A driving need, desire, goal, ambition, A secret, A contradiction, Vulnerability METHODS FOR DEEPENING CHARACTERISATION Real-life characters, Emotional triggers

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Borders Trueromance

One of my good Twitter buddies, Joan Swan, is celebrating the release of her debut novel, Fever, with a giveaway of Borders Gift Cards over at the Borders True Romance blog. If you enjoy crosswords, you'll love this!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Weekend Book Club: Harlequin Romance

It's no secret how much I love the Harlequin Romance series. Yes, I'm biased, as they are the first series that bought me but my love affair with the series has developed over time. I love the varied voices in the series. I love the locations. Most of all I love the varied plots. There's a lot of scope within Harlequin Romance and that's one of the greatest pleasures, picking up a book guaranteed to surprise. The fabulous Wendy Crutcher, RWA's Librarian of the Year, has posted a great blog today at HEROES & HEARTBREAKERS. She outlines why she loves Harlequin Romance and gives some recommendations, including this.

I've read some cracker Harlequin Romances over the years, too many to mention (though Liz Fielding's THE MARRIAGE MIRACLE, her RITA winner featuring a wheelchair bound heroine, is a standout.)

What have been your favourite Harlequin Romances over the years? Recommendations?

Friday, April 08, 2011

Romantic Times winners

I've been lucky enough to be nominated 2 years in a row for a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award. With the RT convention currently running in LA, the winners of each section have now been announced and the full list is here. Congrats to the winners!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

From assistant to agent

Here's the story how my fab agent, Suzie Townsend, went from assistant at FinePrint Literary Management to full time agent. I still don't know how she manages to do all her work and sleep...

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

By request

More cover love. This will be my 4th book to hit shelves in May, a reprint of THE BOSS'S BEDROOM AGENDA in a By Request anthology. That's some boss!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Girl in a Vintage Dress cover alert

The first time I see a new cover, I'm always a little nervy. Will it stand out on shelves? Will it capture the essence of the story? Will it intrigue busy, discerning readers long enough to pick up and scan the back blurb? Here's the brand-spanking new cover for my Harlequin Riva release in July, GIRL IN A VINTAGE DRESS. What do you think?

Monday, April 04, 2011

Launched into the world

Can't wait until SEX, GOSSIP & ROCK & ROLL hits the shelves in May in the UK?

Well, you can grab it online right now!

I'm often asked which is the favourite book I've ever written and while I have a few that stand out from a personal point of view, I think this one edges ahead of the field.

You'll have to read it to find out why :)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Weekend Book Club: Category romance

Though I write category romance, I'm ashamed to say I don't read a lot of it these days. When I do, I'm highly selective. These last few weeks, I've been lucky to read 3 crackers. Most recently, Barbara Hannay's 'MOLLY COOPER'S DREAM DATE', which blew me away because almost the entire book is written in diary and email format! Remember the old rule 'hero and heroine must get together on the page ASAP'? Nix that! Barbara has written a lovely romance in a refreshing format. Next up is Ally Blake's THE WEDDING DATE. Ally's books are auto-buys for me, because of her fun, flirty voice and characters that are delightfully real. And I love the heat between her Bradley and Hannah in this book! Very, very sexy!
Fiona Lowe's 'THE MOST MAGICAL GIFT OF ALL' was the first category romance I'd read in a while and it didn't disappoint. I love Fiona's small outback towns. If you want a taste of Australiana, grab her books. I don't read a lot of Meds and I like how this one focussed more on the relationship between Jack and Sophie rather than the medical stuff.

And Jack is a fabulous bad-boy doc!

So there you have it, 3 great category reads.

What are you reading this week?