Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year




STAY SAFE AND I'LL SEE YOU IN THE NEXT DECADE!




Monday, December 20, 2010

RIVALICIOUS



The first of the RIVA books are going to be launched in January 2011. This is an exciting new line for Mills and Boon in the UK and you can find their writing guidelines here.

I’ve managed to get my hands on two of the stories that are going to be released and they really are standouts.  Not just because of the premise but because the characters stick with you long after you close the covers.

Deserted Island, Dreamy Ex! by Nicola Marsh was the first to arrive in my mail box.


Fabulous cover right?

But it’s more than just a pretty cover, here’s the blurb:


Kristi's Stranded Diary: Day 1

Being shipwrecked on an idyllic deserted island for reality TV show Stranded sounded blissful. Until I discovered my Man Friday for the week was Jared Malone (aka he-who-broke-my-heart!).

I mean, of course I'll be fine. I don't feel anything for him anymore. Female viewers might swoon over Jared's tanned gorgeousness, but I know he's just an arrogant, overmuscled heartbreaker!

The cameras are rolling, so I'm off to the beach to face Jared. I just hope I look okay in this bikini!


Deserted Island, Dreamy Ex! is another great read by Nicola. Inside that fabulous cover the characters come to life in their own blog and twitter posts which are very characteristically male and female, and hilariously funny. It’s a wonderfully modern read and you’ll love the behind the scenes moments when Jared and Kristi manage to escape those TV show cameras.

And I’ll just say this: Jared is delicious. You’re going to want to get your hands on him.

Need more details? Click here for the excerpt!

For obvious reasons I’d suggest getting in early for the RIVA titles in January, or wearing body armor.

Stay tuned to find out who else turned up in my mail box!

I wouldn’t mind Jared being FedExed my way...


*Edit*

Release dates for Deserted Island, Dreamy Ex!:

USA - Harlequin Romance - September 2010
UK - Mills & Boon Riva - January 2011
Australia - Mills & Boon Sweet - February 2011

If you're in the USA and think you've already missed out, never fear! It's still available at eharlequin and the Book Depository.
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Whole Lot of Sexy



I'm blogging on the Minxes of Romance site today about the two new men in my life.  Come and say hi! 


Here's a teaser...


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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Don't Be Shy, Grab Maisey Yates



Two days after I got it back from the doctors I managed to blow up the not-yet-a-year-old computer, so that it wouldn’t turn on at all.

That, my friends, takes talent.

Anyway… I was lucky enough to win a copy of A MISTAKE, A PRINCE AND A PREGNANCY by Maisey Yates ahead of the Australian release date. I’ve also managed to wait you were all able to access it in Australia to tell you how much I loved it.

If you haven't come across it in your travels, Alison Whitman is intent on having a baby minus the husband however, Fate has other plans. A mix up at the IVF clinic means that Alison’s carefully selected donor was switched with another. As a nonaffected carrier of Cystic Fibrosis she must now find the true father of her child. But the father of her child is Maximo Ross, Prince of Turan and he intends to claim his royal heir.


It’s a red hot read with a fascinating modern premise that will have you eager for more. But remember, it is December and M&B fly off the shelves this time of year.  Get in quick! 

And for Romy who is now a fellow Vampire Diaries Ogler. Enjoy!

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Transforming the Antagonist


My apologies for leaving many of you halfway through a conversation on your blogs but I had to take the computer back to the doctors.

Again.

For anyone who’s counting, yes, that is the third time this year and I do think they should have given me balloons.

Rant over.

I’m fascinated by a writer’s ability to turn a strong antagonist into a protagonist. It’s not an easy task. If the transformation is too quick, the audience won’t have enough empathy for the character. If the transformation is too slow or lacking in foundation, he won’t appear redeemable to the audience who will suspect that any behavior changes serve a dark agenda that has yet to be identified.

A great example of this appears in The Vampire Diaries, which was recently recommended to me. I should mention here, due to characterization differences, that I am referring to the TV series rather than the books in this instance.

The series includes a love triangle between two vampire brothers and the heroine (bear with me). One of the brothers is essentially evil and seemingly remorseless. However, as the series continues he is redeemed to the audience through his love for the heroine and quirky sense of humor. Ultimately the audience should still be horrified by him based on past transgression but the writers have revealed enough to enable an audience to empathize with his tortured past and want him to get his girl.

I don’t believe that every person could watch the transformation in the series and find themselves tugged onto this character’s side. But the purpose is there and it’s intriguing to note the little elements that go into such a change over many episodes, particularly since it revolves entirely around his behavior toward the heroine and the behavior that she inspires in him. Ain’t love a pretty thing?

What do you think of antagonist transformations?


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's That Time of Year



 Alrighty! So I’m back.

I’ve pretended to start my Christmas shopping where the shop decorations are already in place. They’re pretty and sparkling and, let’s face it, a little unsettling. The idea of strolling around under giant presents and ornaments that are beautifully lit but have the potential to both squash and mildly electrocute you is something I try not to think about while I’m getting the groceries.

Here’s to hoping that the guys who ridged them up weren’t having a “blah-whatever-that’ll do” day?

Does anyone else have a certain book/s they read at this time of year? I have some favorite M&B that must come out this and last year I added The Millionaire’s Mistletoe Mistress by Natalie Anderson. It was such a fun read where Natalie’s heroine, Imogen gets to wrap all sorts of things for her gorgeous hero. I’m especially looking forward to reading that one again. If you’re interested, it’s been released in the US this year as ‘Tis the Season” also including stories by Carole Mortimer and Alison Roberts and will still be available at http://www.eharlequin.com/.

I know you’re all writing furiously and refusing to cook dinner for your families all in the name of NaNoWriMo. Congrats! Is anyone writing a Christmas themed book for NaNo? Is anyone entering their NaNo in the So You Think You Can Write challenge?

Go on! Take advantage of those overworked editors! ;)



P.S. Mills and Boon author has been interviewed Christina Hollis over at the Minxes and you can read it here.
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NV Competition Ends & NaNoWriMo Begins


A huge congratulations to Leah Ashton for her winning NV entry Secrets & Speed Dating! Congratulations also to Lindsay, Carrie &a Heidi for their Top 4 entries!

When one door closes a window opens and that window is NaNoWriMo! Good luck to everyone whose fingers will be furiously typing a masterpiece. I’ll be watching your word meters soar!


P.S I’m going to be a sporadic blogger for another 10 days. Yes that’s a very specific 10 days and then I’ll be back to harass you all as much as I want ;)
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Decipher Your Rejection Letter


This is the best source for deciphering your rejection letter that I’ve come across so far. Check out Susan Litman’s Editor Chat Transcript “Let’s talk rejections” from eHarlequin.

Let me know what you think!

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

NaNoWriMo: Start Your Engines


It’s that time of year! However, if you’re like me, you’re probably still in denial that it’s even November.

For anyone who doesn’t know NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it’s basically when the entire writing community collectively loses their minds and decides to write 50,000 words by the end of November. That’s 50K in 30 days. It’s not as scary as it sounds.

For one fabulous month dishes are left unwashed, floors are unswept and husbands and wives are left to fend for themselves while writing reigns. It’s a heck of a lot of fun!

If you want to know more or if you want to sign up at the official site, click here.  Other sites, including Harlequin also do their own NaNoWriMo but as far as I know the Harlequin link isn’t up yet.

Now I’m not sure whether or not I’ll be joining in this year because I’d only be able to start halfway through the month, which would make it NaNoWriFo (National Novel Writing Fortnight).

That seems a little nutty to attempt…

Call me nutty with extra nuts on top because I’m still considering it. Although, this same situation happened last year and that didn’t work out so well...

But this post isn’t about me. It’s about YOU. I want to know who’s participating this year! So, if you do decide to participate you can get the official blog badges for 2010 here.

You’ve got a little over a week to decide whether or not you need to stock up on Red Bull and make sure you let me know so I can wave my pom poms in your direction!

Perhaps I'll replace our New Voices Wall of Fame with our NaNoers?


 

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Friday, October 15, 2010

The Computer Gremlins Ate My Workshop Tickets...


When the tickets for the Barbara Hannay workshop this weekend still hadn’t turned up yesterday I made a call to see if something had happened. Something has happened, or perhaps not happened. We aren’t on the list.

Apparently we just missed out, so the order went through, hence my lovely printed confirmation, but it must have been just seconds after someone else’s order, and the payment was then reversed. It’s a rather disappointing discovery and you’ve just got to love technology when something like this happens.

I suppose the lesson is to obsessively compulsively check your bank account to make sure that your confirmation is in fact a confirmation? Where’s an IT genius when you need them?

Sadly this also means that I will have nothing to share with you all. I blame the computer gremlins…

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Barbara Hannay & What I've Learnt From New Voices


Before I entered the New Voices comp I made the decision that it was my last one. Actually, I think I said that about a competition two years ago but NV was such an interesting concept I couldn’t help myself. Although submitting to the world turned out to be akin to having to run down a public street naked.

The competition is far from over, and who knows what other opportunities they may throw our way, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that it’s only reinforced my option that the ol’ fashioned submission and slush pile is the place for me to be. Competitions have always felt like publication detours, sometimes productive, sometimes not. They’re very much a gamble and because writing is so close to your heart it’s always painful if you don’t get the response you were hoping for, and it can take a while to pick yourself back up.

Thanks to my fellow Minxes and everyone in blogland I feel like I’ve won this time. I now have a wonderful critique group and just hearing that someone read your chapter and genuinely liked it is the most amazing feeling in the world. I was also lucky enough to get some fabulous criticism from Heidi Rice so I’m definitely not walking away empty handed and I’d like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone for your support during the first stage of the competition and after.

My greatest disappointment is not being able to get my hands on the rest of the stories that followed the fantastic first chapters I read. I tend to skim first paragraphs and chapters of books when I’m buying them and the best ones get stuck in my head and niggle at me to finish them. Needless to say, it’s driving me nuts not being able read the rest of those manuscripts.

Next weekend I’ll have a wonderful distraction from those niggles because I’ll be at a Barbara Hannay workshop! Barbara writes for Mills & Boon Sweet and will be at the Tropical Writer’s Festival on the 16th. If anyone fancies a nice, warm, tropical holiday you can find information on the workshop here.

Submissions for Round 2 of NV have now closed and I'd like to wish Leah Ashton lots of luck with her entry!
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lacey Devlin: Computer Killer


In the last three days I managed to kill both my desktop and laptop which I feel takes a special kind of talent, especially when the desktop is less than a year old….

I hope you'll all bear with me while I catch up on everyone’s posts.

Of course it’s happened right in the middle of deadlines, which is always the way. Actually someone had a theory the more stressed you are the more likely you give off some sort of electro-magnetic field that can blow up the computer.

I agree whole heartedly and think that to prevent a nationwide black out Australia should send me to Hawaii ;)

While my computer was at the doctor’s Elissa Graham presented me with the “One Lovely Blog” award. Thanks Elissa!



The rules are:
1. Add the logo to your blog
2. Link to the person form whom you received this award
3. Nominate 7 or more blogs
4. Leave a message on their blog, letting them know they have “One Lovely Blog”

Because I’ve been out of action I’m not sure who has already received the “One Lovely Blog” award so for all of you who have yet to receive it please consider yourselves tagged!
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Monday, October 4, 2010

A Very Special Minx Announcement



My computer has been sent to the doctor and I'm living on borrowed computer time while I type this so if I'm AWOL for a couple of days I promise it's not personal ;).

For those of you with healthly, working technology who are eagerly waiting for your New Voices entry to be selected for critique or named in the special mid-week list pop over to the Minxes of Romance site for a special announcement!

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wall of Fame: There's a Whopping 25 of Us!


And we’re all fabulous too.

I wanted to say another big congrats to the Top Ten, especially to Wall of Fame member Leah Aston of Team Jessica with her entry Secrets & Speed Dating.

I also wanted to say a very special thank you to everyone for all their encouragement and support. I’ve read so many fantastic chapters and I really hope that everyone is going to submit the ol’ fashioned way.

There’s a lot of fun to be had in the slush pile ;)
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Monday, September 27, 2010

The Wall of Fame: Tina Vaughn


A belated congratulation to Tina who submitted her New Voices entry on September 22! Tina’s been battling with blogger to get a comment through to me. Don’t you love technology? ;)

Tina’s chapter has a hint of political scandal, a vengeful alpha male and a sparky heroine. Something tells me this hero’s plan for revenge is going to backfire…

You can read all about his plan at:

Tina Vaughn: Seducing His Runaway Wife (Passion)
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Friday, September 24, 2010

The Wall of Fame: Joanne Cleary


CONGRATS to Joanne who submitted her New Voices entry on September 22! Joanne, you sneaky minx you! I missed your entry before I posted yesterday! It’s my own fault, I lost my original list of people I thought were entering and after a while the pink blurs a bit – or it does for me. Note to self: wear reading glasses...

Joanne’s chapter has one sexy Australian athlete, a cheeky nurse, fabulous dialogue and hint of delicious things to come. She’s a tease really ;) I don’t suppose Rachael needs help with her duties? I think I could manage a sponge bath for Trent if I really had to…

Get yourself a sexy Australian athlete with abs of steel at:

Joanne Cleary: Taming the Lion (Contemporary)
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Wall of Fame: Leah Ashton, Aideen Taylora & Jane Murray


CONGRATS Leah, Aideen and Jane who submitted their New Voices entries on September 22! Go ladies!

Leah’s chapter has speed dating, a sexy alpha male and a heroine with straight up honesty that sends one guy scurrying for safety – three great ingredients for a contemporary read! Watch out, her first line’s going to grab you and not let go!

Aideen and Jane nearly snuck by me so a big thanks the Jackie for pointing them out. I’ve got you now!

Aideen’s chapter has a wonderfully relatable heroine and anyone who’s ever been short staffed on Christmas will know exactly how poor Ellie is feeling but hey sexy hero to the rescue! As if that’s not enough check out said sexy hero in a Santa suit, you can’t so no to that, and find out just who he really is to Ellie!

Jane’s chapter has a king, a groom, a bride and a getaway ride on a horse that you can’t miss. Need I say more? Didn’t think so! It’s guaranteed to leave you wondering why and wanting more!

Catch Leah’s, Aideen’s and Jane’s entries at:
Leah Ashton: Secrets & Speed Dating (Contemporary)
Aideen Taylora: Migraines & Mistletoe (Contemporary)
Jane Murray: The Barbarian King’s Bride (Contemporary)


Three days and 17 hours till the judging ends! Get your lucky undies on!

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Wall of Fame: Janette Radevski & Sri Pammi


CONGRATULATIONS to Janette and Sri who submitted their New Voices entries 21 September!

Janette’s chapter has a fabulous speed dating premise, a great conflict, wonderfully sassy banter and one hot alpha male. I’ve got my eye on Blake so don’t get any ideas ;).

Sri’s chapter has a twisted ankle, one hot Italian and raunchy chemistry with the kind of conflict that makes you wonder how this hero and heroine are going to get their happily ever after.

You can find Janette and Sri’s chapters at:
Just 17 hours to go!
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Wall of Fame: Jude Roust, Suzanne Jones & Romy Sommer



CONGRATULATIONS to Jude, Suzanne and Romy who are our latest Wall of Fame additions!

Jude Roust is our first Paranormal Wall of Fame member with her New Voices chapter submitted 19 September.

After reading this chapter you’re going to want your own magic ring, because every girl needs a genie like Lucy’s ;).

You can read Jude’s chapter at:

Jude Roust: Be Careful What You Wish For (Paranormal)


Suzanne Jones and Romy Sommer are our latest Contemporary goddesses hitting the submit button on September 20!

Suzanne’s chapter had me hooked from the start, I love the premise and I suspect her heroine’s already getting herself into trouble, but who can blame her?

You’ll know what I mean when you check out her hero ;) which you can do at:

Suzanne Jones: Manhunt (Contemporary)


Romy’s chapter has sink your teeth into it chemistry and features an unwavering heroine and a (to quote Joanne Pibworth)  swoontastic  Italian alpha male.   You can't say no to that!

Get your hands on him at:

Romy Sommer: Valentino’s Angel (Contemporary)



There's just a day and a half of submissions left, prepare for the flood!  I think we're going to see at least a couple of hundred more.  What say you?
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Monday, September 20, 2010

The Wall of Fame: Abbi Cantrell



Our first Passion entrant!

Abbi Cantrell submitted her New Voices entry 17 September!  I read it, I commented on it, and… I didn’t add her to The Wall! Try and work that one out.

My inner perfectionist is throwing a tantrum and you should all feel seriously deprived because it’s a fabulous chapter! If you love great conflict and a heck of a cliff hanger then you want How to Marry a Brazilian. Desire eat your heart out!

Check out Abbi’s chapter at:

Abbi Cantrell: How to Marry a Brazilian (Contemporary)

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Wall of Fame: Elissa Graham


We’ve got another one!

Elissa Graham entered the New Voices Competition 19 September and I’m pretty thrilled that her entry is already available so thanks to whoever is working on their weekend!

I believe this is also Elissa’s first competition so a huge CONGRATULATIONS on entering Elissa! She’s got one very strong willed heroine facing off against her alpha male but I’m not giving anything away, so that’s all you’re getting!

You can catch Elissa’s entry here:

Elissa Graham: Two Weeks to Transform the Tycoon (Contemporary)

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