Saturday, September 30, 2006

Ups & Downs

The plan this week was to get some reading done. These are books I've been waiting to read for a really long time. But for some reason, I can't get into any of them. I'm reading one right now and I know I'm not doing it justice.

Has this ever happened to you? What did you do to snap out of it? My plan is threefold - first, I'm being drawn toward my keeper shelf, so I think I'll surrender and dive into a couple of stories that I know I'll love. Second, I think I'm going to take a step back from romance and read a few thrillers and sci-fi/fantasy novels. Sort of like cleaning the palate to experience something like new. And third - I'm going to speed up this round of edits on Caressed By Ice. Writing always makes me want to read - one passion feeding another?

Friday, September 29, 2006

Happy Endings

Daniel Dibley, 17, needed a partner for the school dance in the Australian country town of Bathurst, west of Sydney, and he decided to aim high.

He wrote to Australia's best-known beauty queen, Jennifer Hawkins, to ask her to the dance, and was stunned when the 2004 Miss Universe accepted.

From: Plucky Boy Gets Miss Universe Dream Date

That's what I call a happy ending! Let's end the week on a high note and share happy endings - your own, someone else's, romantic or not, it doesn't matter. It just has to be happy!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

How to win friends & Influence people

Today I thought I'd take a crack at some shameless self-promotion: Yesterday I sent out the backcover blurb for Visions of Heat to members of my newsletter - they get to see lots of things first. Doesn't that sound like something you want to join? *grin*

So, let's talk promo: How many of you belong to author newsletters? Why do/don't you join? What can an author do to entice you to join?

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Paranormal & More

Want to know what a top editor thinks about all things paranormal? Check out this interview with Berkley editor Cindy Hwang, who also happens to be my editor. (I love her!)

Talking about paranormal, it's very definitely a good time to be a reader who likes this particular sub-genre. There's so much choice, so many different stories. Ghosts, vampires, selkies, Psy *g* to name a few.

If you read paranormal, what do you like best about it? Conversely, what kind of stories would you like to see more of?

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Shadow by Shelley Munro

I am soooo behind in my reading it's not funny. But I'm hoping to clear a number of books off my tbr pile in the coming weeks. I got off to a good start with Shelley Munro's The Shadow. Before I tell you about the book, I have to tell you how it came into my possession.

Full disclosure: Shelley is a friend of mine and at the recent RWNZ Conference, I was the facilitator for her workshop ie. I did the intro and made sure no one got too rowdy (*g*). Now Shelley had a copy of The Shadow to give away and before the attendees arrived, she threw out a few ideas as to how best to pick a winner. One of them was: "The person with the birthday closest to Shelley's". I told her that was the *best* idea out of all the ones she'd brainstormed.

Um, guess who had the birthday closest to Shelley? Yep, it was me. I'm sure everyone thought it was rigged. But it wasn't, promise! Neither of us had a clue that our birthdays were so close. I can hear those sniggers of disbelief. Shush!

Okay, onto the book. In my opinion, the backcover copy (pasted below) has quite a light feel, despite the actual things it talks about. Honestly speaking, I wouldn't have picked it up in a store based on that blurb because I don't really like 'light' (I'm more into meaty and emotional). However that would've been my loss, because The Shadow, while lighter than my usual fare, is also an emotionally engaging book.

The heroine, Lady Katherine Fawkner is a trainee cat burglar. How cool is that?! That's not an occupation you see everyday. And she isn't a pretend cat burglar, she's a real one. It's the family business. I liked Kate a lot - she was smart and funny.

The hero, Kahu Williams, is a cop. He's definitely a "hottie" as one of Kate's elderly chaperones says. The book is from the point of view of Kate, so you don't get to see inside Kahu's head, but the outside package is very nice indeed. While the book is set in England, the sexy Kahu is from New Zealand and there are touches of NZ throughout the book.

Sensuality wise, I'd say it's warm. No full love scenes but lots of great sexual tension. Overall, I found this a fast, fun read with hidden emotional depths. I was hooked enough to put down other things I should've been doing in order to get to the end, so a thumbs up to The Shadow from me.
Backcover Blurb

Occupations often run in families, and mine is no exception. I’m Lady Katherine Fawkner, cat burglar in training. Under duress, I might add, but someone has to keep the family safe. Father’s gambling has escalated into debts, and with that debt comes outrageous interest charges and goons threatening bodily harm if overdue money isn’t paid. So, here I am, attending a society ball, researching the rich and their jewels for my first heist.

Wouldn’t you know it? I’m looking for rubies and find a man instead. Not just any man, but a cop. A cat burglar and a cop? No future there. But I can’t stop thinking about Inspector Kahu Williams.

To make matters worse, now there’s been a murder. And if that’s not bad enough, my past has returned to haunt me. I’ve stumbled across a photo of a child who is the mirror image of my precious daughter. In my hands I hold a clue to reveal the identity of my child’s father – the man who drugged me six years ago. So I’m hot on the trail of my revenge for date rape while Inspector Williams searches for a killer. But we keep running into each other and … no, this is not going to work ...

Excerpt available on Shelley's site.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Links but no links

I've been doing links on Saturdays for the past few weeks but no links today because (gasp) I haven't spent that much time online this week. Me Good. *g*

But that doesn't mean we have to miss out on our link fix. Did you guys see anything interesting on the web over the past few days?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Famous Faces & Characterization

I recently got asked in an interview whether I use famous people as physical archetypes for my heroes/heroines. The answer is I don’t. Even when I read, I make up “new” faces for the characters. But I know authors who are the opposite.

What about you guys? Do you imagine a famous face for the character you’re reading/writing about?

(Doesn't he look all shiny and pretty and clean cut? *g*)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Between The Covers

I'm at Between the Covers today. Come visit.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Interview: Saskia Walker

Today, the blog goes sizzling - I'm interviewing the lovely Saskia Walker, who has Double Dare, an erotic novel, coming out with Berkley HEAT in October. I haven't read the book but it sounds hot enought to singe and the cover is amazing. Read on to discover whether or not Saskia is the back behind the corset!

1. Who is Saskia Walker? Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm an average woman plagued with a very vivid and overactive
imagination! Oh, I love it really. I was always destined to be a writer. I grew up an only child and that's when my imagination got its first hold on me. My parents traveled as I was growing up and the places I've seen inspire and inform my work – my readers get to visit many of the places I have, in my stories. In my late twenties I developed a rare bone disease in my leg, which has increasingly affected my mobility. Writing became even more of a chance to open my wings and live in ways I couldn't in real life. As a career, it suits me down to the ground.

Although I've seen and done some amazing things, I'm basically down to
earth and fun loving. I love dressing up, and live music. Those are my
passions, outside of writing. More of an optimist than a pessimist, I
also have a very naughty streak. I'm British by birth and I settled in
the north of England, in the beautiful county of Yorkshire. My real
life hero, Mark, inspires all my heroes. We share our love nest with a
big black cat who thinks we are her servants -- and, of course, we

2. What do you write?

Erotic romance and fantasy, too, in novel and novella length. Lots of
erotic short stories. That's where I got started, building up to
longer works. I like challenges, and apparently that means I want to
try writing in just about every sub-genre, but there's always romance
and a high level of eroticism in my novellas and novels.

3. What's your next book?

Next up is the publication of my first full-length contemporary erotic
romance, Double Dare. It hits the shelves any day now. Such an
exciting time for me! The story is set in London and Paris, in the
world of high finance, property dealing, and the arts. Abby, the
heroine, is a woman who knows what she wants and dares herself to go
after it….in this case he's tall dark and handsome, enigmatic and
sexy, and his name is Zac. Little does she know she's going to fall
this mysterious stranger. :) Shortly after Double Dare, in January,
my first fantasy romance comes out. Lots more in the pipeline!

4. Were you the model for the cover of Double Dare?

Oh, Nalini, how I wish I could say yes to that! :) I do own a corset,
but alas I'm not as slim and glamorous as the lovely cover model --
let's just say I'm more of a wench than a diva. ;) I also don't have
the wild red hair, although I'm half Irish and it's in the family, the
gene wasn't passed to me. I have to say I totally love the cover
Berkley put together for Double Dare. It's taken from a scene towards
the end of the story, set in Paris, where the heroine is fitted with a
corset to wear to an exclusive fetish party, while the hero watches...
Wearing a corset is a very sexy experience, so I had to include it.

5. What's the wildest dare you've ever done?

Hmmm. Probably the time I had sex on a garden rooftop in the midst of
a summer thunderstorm. Madness. And very wet. Ahem. Naughty, naughty!
Rain, I meant rain! :)The heroine in Double Dare dares herself to do
things when she needs the nerve, and I confess that's something I do
too. Gets me in all sorts of trouble, but you know, life is for

Got more questions for Saskia? Ask away!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pirate Day!

Argh mateys, today is the International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Where's me cutlass? Shiver me timbers, some pirate's stole it! Argghh.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Dr. Seuss Rocks

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
Dr. Seuss
I'm planning on doing some traveling today and it all begins with digging into my tbr pile. :) What was the last book you read?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Saturday Links

I think I've mentioned how much I love the JD Robb series of books about Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke, so when I saw the tragedy of the Hungarian covers for this series over at SBTB, I wanted to weep. Why? Why? WHY?

Super NZ director Peter Jackson (of Lord of the Rings fame) has bought the rights to Naomi Novik's Temeraire series! Woohoo. I love these books.

If you've ever wondered how many copies of books have to be sold to get on the NY Times list, drop by Tess Gerritsen's blog, where she talks numbers.

Scott McLemee talks about annotating your books (link courtesy of Bookslut). Hmm, marking up books? I can understand doing it in a textbook for study purposes, but a fiction book? What's your take?

And to end on a heavenly note, the new dwarf planet (the one whose discovery ended up causing Pluto to be downgraded from planet to dwarf planet), will not be called Xena as originally named. It's new name is: "Eris, the Greek goddess of chaos and strife..."

Friday, September 15, 2006


What general age do you like your heroines?
20's? 30's? 40's?

And heroes?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bound By Marriage

I did a post on The Knight Agency blog last night from the perspective of a writer living out of the U.S. so swing by that way if the topic interests you. And don't forget the chat in a few hours - Wed 13th 9pm EST (Thurs 1pm NZ time).

More good news for StS - it's #36 on the Bookscan MM Romance Bestseller list! Yippee!

I was in the middle of writing this post when I got a delivery - the galleys for Bound By Marriage, my Feb Sil Desire release. I always get excited when I get these and see "Author's Copy" printed in the front.

What happens at the galley stage is that I go through and check for typos, printer errors, timeline mistakes etc. i.e. the details rather than major changes (that happens at the copy/line edit stage). Doesn't sound interesting but it is for the simple reason that because the book was turned in and line edited so long ago, I get to read it with a fresh eye. I once found I'd had a heroine's knees "crumble". Yep. After so many pairs of eyes going over it, she was still "crumbling" to the floor. I'm curious - what's your tolerance level for typos?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Good News!

If you heard some delighted screaming yesterday, that would've been me. Slave to Sensation is #22 on the B&N Mass Market Romance Bestseller list!! *If I had a insanely dancing smilie, I'd insert it here*

And in the more good news department, Visions of Heat has been pushed up from May to March 07, so not long to wait now!

Muwaha news - it seems my changelings are in danger of turning Bronwyn Jameson into a cat person. :) Check out her blog for a fun interview we did over the weekend.

I'll also be doing a chat at The Knight Agency Chat Room, Wed 13 Sep, 9-10pm EST. I really like the TKA chats. They're very organized and everyone's questions get answered. Hope to see some of you there. Here's how to get to the chat room:
To enter the chat room, follow this link (, enter a screen name and simply select “login.”
So, tell me some of your good news! What's put a smile on your face recently? :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Emails Eaten

I think my email program ate most of the emails that came in over the past 12 hours, so if you contacted me, pretty please resend.

You know, I wonder what people did before the Internet. Carrier pigeons? *g* And here's a question - when's the last time you wrote an actual pen and paper letter?

Monday, September 11, 2006


So last night I did some blog-hopping and found this article about the next Bridget Jones book (link found via PBW, Alison Kent, Bookseller Chick & Meg Cabot). What Helen Fielding is thinking of doing to Bridget (if the article is correct) disturbs me, but what I found really interesting were the comments below the article.

One person said:
And what about Bridget's character? She has totally changed. All of this character development has all been for nothing, because Bridget is no wiser.
I feel she has been playing around with her audience and is so out of touch with the real character she created 10 years ago.
The basic gist of the comments was that Ms Fielding has betrayed her character and her audience by taking Bridget in this new direction. Which brings up the idea of ownership of fictional characters. Clearly, the readers who commented felt that they had some stake in Bridget, because they'd stuck with her through three books. However Ms Fielding probably feels that Bridget is hers. After all, she wrote the character in the first place.

What do you think? If a beloved author decided to do something completely unexpected with a character you'd grown to love, something that just struck you as wrong, what would your reaction be? And who do you think has emotional ownership of long-running series' characters?

(By the way, remember Misery? Now there was a fan who had a problem with an author's decision re her favorite character).

Saturday, September 09, 2006


I'll be chatting at the Fallen Angel Reviews Chat Room on:

Saturday Sep 9th - 9p.m. EST

(For the Kiwis, that's 1pm Sunday our time) Come join me!

So what do you all think about chats? Do you attend any? Fun?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Working, working...

I'm currently working on the third draft of Caressed By Ice (book 3 in the Psy series). This is the draft where I work on a printout and write all over it. In fact I sometimes write on the actual page, on the back of the page and on insert pages. And guess what, this is fun for me!

What are you up to? What constitutes fun for you? Any plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Between The Covers

I'm blogging at Between The Covers today. Come keep me company. :)

Oh ma cherie!

I got copies of Awaken the Senses in French yesterday. Doesn't it look all pretty and shiny and well...French?

While I was stroking the cover (all authors do this, trust me), it struck me that the hero of this book, Alexandre Dupree, is from France. Part of his appeal in the original English was that he was an exotic stranger (one who occasionally mumured sweet nothings in French).

But for the French readers, Alexandre will be a native, subtly changing the tone of the book. I've never thought about this before, but I suppose it applies to all the 'foreign' heroes we write - in one country at least, they're not foreign. Do you think women in those countries snicker and snort at authors' depictions of their men? Personally, I think not. I still find NZ heroes hot, despite living in the midst of Kiwi men. Do you have any preference as to where your heroes come from?

Incidentally when I went onto Amazon France to grab a jpeg of the cover of Awaken the Senses, I found the French cover for Awaken to Pleasure, too. C
heck it out on the right. Very different, no? But that might be due to the fact it's a duo - anyone know if that's Sara Orwig's cover?

Oh and to answer yesterday's question, the thing I bought is big and gleaming, has four tyres and takes me places. Yep, after three years of riding a bicycle through the rice fields of Japan, I now have a vehicle!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

StS hits the stands!

What day is it today?

It's the official release date for Slave to Sensation! Woohoo!

Okay I'm a wee bit early as it's still yesterday on the other side of the world, but I refuse to let that dampen my excitement. :) Also up today is an interview I did with Martina Bexte of Bookloons so swing by there if you want to know if I've ever ridden a camel (among other things).

And I'm going to close with a question: I bought something this week, an early birthday present for myself. What do you think I bought? Hint: I both need and want it. *g*

Monday, September 04, 2006

Hanging out at the Idea Boutique

I'm over at the Idea Boutique today, talking about some of the things that might (or might not) have led to me writing Slave to Sensation, so please come on over and visit.

I also thought I had to post at Between The Covers today. Good thing I rechecked the schedule 'cause today is Julia Templeton's day. And she's discussing something very interesting - sex vs sexual tension.

TRRC Interview

I'm doing posts on a couple of other blogs today, so I'll put up the links to those once they're up. But for your reading pleasure this morning, here's an interview I did with Wendy Keel of The Romance Reader's Connection. If you're interested in the follow-up books to Slave to Sensation, you might want to check this out. Just saying... *g*

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Saturday Links

A reminder that the viral blogging experiment for Slave to Sensation ends Sep 5, so if you'd like to enter and haven't yet, here's your chance to win a $200 Amazon voucher among other things.

Alison Kent is giving away books.

So is Gena Showalter.

There's a meme going around about the top 100 Romance Novels as determined by AAR's readers. How many have you read?

Chick Lit and Literary writers are having a somewhat heated "discussion".

And actor Daniel Craig finds 007 Tough But Cool. Hey it's writing related - these were books before they were movies!

Friday, September 01, 2006


New interview up at Milady Insanity!


Today is the start of a new month and I'm officially no longer on holiday. September's shaping up to be a big month. Check out all these things that fall in Sep:

(1) The release of a book you might've heard of called SLAVE TO SENSATION! Gee, was that loud? ;)
(2) The anniversary of my very first book sale ever (Desert Warrior).
(3) My birthday. :)
(4) The official end of winter in this hemisphere. This is very important. Me and cold weather do not mix well.

So, what's September hold for you?