Friday, September 30, 2011

It all starts with an idea

Most of my book ideas have come to me in a flash.

Maybe a spark of an idea from a magazine article, an expression of a movie-star captured in a photo, a first line of dialogue or a hint of 'what-if?'

Alexandra Sokoloff has a fantastic post on how to get the ideas flowing.

Writers out there, how do your stories come to be?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Susan Wiggs cover quote for Busted in Bollywood

I'd like to thank everyone for sharing in the excitement of my cover reveal earlier this week.  I had such a ball that day!

Now, I'd like to unveil the cover with the fab author quote...by Susan Wiggs, whose books I adore!

Susan is gracious and lovely and giving of her time.
When I emailed her a few months ago asking for a cover quote for Busted in Bollywood, she didn't hesitate in saying yes.
Then when I met her at the RWAus conference in August, she was just as lovely and warm as I imagined.

I'm beyond thrilled she took the time to read BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD and that she enjoyed it.

This fangirl is floating... :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD: Excerpt

After unveiling the cover for BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD yesterday, thought it might be nice to give you an excerpt today.

Here's Shari starting her first day tour in Mumbai:


            As Buddy tested his Angry Birds skills—people were like the game app. birds, seemingly flinging themselves at our car—I swallowed a curse. Oblivious to my morbid fear of inadvertently killing one of the many pedestrians jamming the sidewalks and spilling onto the road, Anjali stared at my hands, where I clutched at the worn leather.
            “That’s a lovely ring.” She pointed at the ruby. “From someone special?”
            “No.” I released my grip on the seat to twist the ring around, wishing I didn’t love it so much. Definitely not from someone special.
            She didn’t probe, her curiosity snagged by my watch. The gold link and diamond TAG had been a gift to myself with my first paycheck at Tate’s law firm, a splurge I’d justified at the time by saying I needed to look the part at an upmarket practice, when in reality I’d wanted to impress the boss who’d already made a pass at me during the first two weeks.
            “That a gift, too?”
            Jeez, who was she, the jewelry police?
            “A gift to myself.”
            Needing a change of topic fast, I pointed out the window. “That’s the third cinema we’ve passed in a few blocks.”
            She craned her neck for a better look. “Nothing unusual. We’re the movie capital of India, so there’s a multiplex cinema on every street.”
            She had to be exaggerating, but as Buddy weaved in and out of the road chaos, I spotted five more.
            “Personally, I prefer cable.” Anjali rummaged around in her giant handbag and pulled out a TV Soap magazine. “Hundreds of channels, better viewing.”
            She flicked it open to a double page spread of buffed guys with bare chests and brooding expressions. Not bad, if you liked that fake chiseled look. By the twinkle in Anjali’s eye as she shoved the magazine my way, she did. “Bill Spencer is my favorite.”
            Clueless, I shrugged.
            Horrified, she stabbed at a photo of a dark-haired, dark-eyed Adonis with rippling pecs and a serious six-pack. “Don Diamont. You’ve never heard of him? Young and the Restless? Dollar Bill Spencer in Bold and the Beautiful?”
            “Uh, no, I’m more of a rom-com gal.”
            Shaking her head, she snapped the magazine shut and thrust it into her bag, casting me a disbelieving glare. “I’m thinking Amrita did you a favor sending you here.”
            I didn’t want to ask, but there was something cutesy and lovable about Anjali, and I couldn’t resist. “Why, Auntie?”
            “So I can educate you.”
            I stifled a snort. “About soap operas?”
            “About men.” She rattled her bag for emphasis. “These are the men you must aspire to. Handsome, tall, broad shoulders, rich.”
            “Fictional,” I muttered, earning a click of her tongue.
            She crossed her arms, hugging the bag and magazine to her ample chest. “You’ll see. Once you ditch Anu’s son, we can concentrate on finding you another boy.”
            I refrained from adding, “I want a man.” No point encouraging her.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD cover reveal!


Here it is!
The long-awaited cover reveal for BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD.

After countless hours of hard work by the team at Entangled Publishing, and many mock-ups (which are just as gorgeous as this one!) this is the final cover.

Fab author cover quote will be inserted where the tagline is when this book launches December 6th.

Thanks to Liz Pelletier & Heather Howland for not sleeping nights in the production of my cover!
And thanks to the bookbloggers who are co-currently revealing this cover:


I'll be revealing some great news about this book in the next few days so stay tuned!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Entangled in romance

Less than  24 hours to the BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD cover reveal here and I can't wait!

If you want to get a sneak preview (in puzzle form!) go visit Entangled Publishing's new blog, ENTANGLED IN ROMANCE.

Speaking of Entangled, they're actively acquiring novellas (YA & adult romantic fiction) so if you have one ready to go, follow submission guidelines.

Lastly, one of my Entangled Publishing peeps, the lovely Rachel Firasek, has a great new segment on her blog, Meet Me Mondays. Check it out.

So, you want to know something about me, huh?

Well, I was chatting to several readers on Goodreads last night, who were based in India, interested in BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD and wanted to know if I'd been to India.

While I researched this book by interviewing Hindu friends, on the Internet, and stories I've heard from my parents, the answer is yes, twice!
Sadly, I was a kid so can only remember snippets but I'm planning on returning one day.

So that's my 'meet me' snippet. 
I love meeting new people.
What's yours?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY: Busted in Bollywood

Here we have it, my inaugral Six Sentence Sunday post.

If you don't know what SSS is, check it out here.

First up, here's 6 sentences from my upcoming release, BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD.

Between Anjali’s sniping at the family and Rita’s dossier, I gathered the Ramas were rich, very rich. And by the size of their newly white-washed two-story house, they were loaded. In a country where real estate was at a premium, these guys had a monopoly on space, their house taking up a quarter of the block.

“Nice place,” I said, smoothing the chiffon of my kameez and hoping all the drama training at high school would count for something in the hours ahead.
“All pomp and show.” Anjali’s glare at the house would’ve exploded bricks if she’d had superhuman powers. “A fat cow needs a big barn.”

I love this book so much, I can't wait for readers to grab it!
BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD will be available for pre-order very soon.
 
In the meantime, pop back here for regular 6 Sentence Sundays, excerpts, recipes from the book, and hot Bollywood guys!

Friday, September 23, 2011

WEEKEND BOOK CLUB: Wild Justice

I've been snowed under with revisions so for the first time in a long time, haven't read a book to review this week.

Instead, I'm thrilled to discuss Liz Fielding's WILD JUSTICE.

Liz Fielding is a fellow Harlequin Riva/Romance author who writes fabulous books.
Her RITA winning Marriage Miracle is my all time fave of hers (wheelchair bound heroine.)

Along with her award winning Harlequin Romances, Liz has self published a trilogy of contemporary romances (check out the cover!!)

Here's the blurb:

Felicity Beaumont, a very private young woman who, having fallen at the first hurdle in her film career has devoted herself to the commercial radio station that is her life. When her sponsor goes bankrupt overnight, leaving her with a huge financial hole in her budget, she turns to the new man on the scene, Luke Devlin, hoping he will pick up sponsorship deal. His offer to bail her out has strings attached and her instincts tell her not to trust him. Worse, with enough electricity to light the national grid sparking between them, she does not trust herself.

WILD JUSTICE is the first book in the Beaumont Brides trilogy and is available to download free from Amazon UK, Nook and Smashwords.

That's right, FREE! Go grab it now!

WILD LADY and WILD FIRE are available for $2.99 everywhere.

What are you reading this weekend?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cover reveal for Interview with the Daredevil

Courtesy of my lovely ed at M&B London, here's the cover for INTERVIEW WITH THE DAREDEVIL, releasing in December in the UK.

What do you think?

(and yes, if you click on the link to the book, you will see naked George Clooney in a swimming pool!)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Another Goodreads giveaway

SEX, GOSSIP & ROCK & ROLL hits US shelves in 2 weeks and to celebrate, I'm giving away 2 signed copies over at Goodreads.

No questions to answer, no websites to check out, just hit the button.
Easy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Publishing information at your fingertips

Agent Rachelle Gardner has a fantastic post with extensive lists to publishing information including:

-how to get published
-freelance editors
-what do say if an agent calls
-agent blogroll
-query letters

and much more!

Check it out here.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Weekend Book Club: Abby & the Bachelor Cop



I've been on a real category romance kick recently and have just finished another of Marion Lennox's heartwarming books.


Here's the blurb:


Bride-to-be Abigail Callahan has her life mapped out. Good career, wealthy fiancĂ©—it's perfect…too perfect. Then sexy bad-boy-turned-cop Raff Finn reenters Abby's life, landing her with an adorable homeless dog called Kleppy and a whole lot of trouble….
Raff's teenage recklessness once broke them apart, but he's not about to let his childhood sweetheart marry the wrong guy. With help from Kleppy and some Banksia Bay magic, Raff plans to reawaken the Abby he's always loved.


Curling up with a Marion Lennox book is like curling up with a cup of hot cocoa: warm, comforting and oh so sweet.


She has a way of creating realistic, flawed characters and bringing them together with seamless ease.


And this book has a hint of mystery as well as a cute kleptomaniac dog!


An immensely satisfying read.


What are you reading this weekend?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Calling bookbloggers!

I have some news!

The cover reveal for BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD is imminent and I want you to be a part of it!

So if you're a book blogger, and you're interested in participating in a simultaneous cover reveal (so yeah, that means you get to see it first before anyone else!) email me and I'll tee it up.

Can't wait!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Foreign rights deal!

I'm thrilled to announce that Entangled Publishing (publishers of my BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD, releasing December) have made their first foreign rights deal.

To read about releases in Turkey, check out here.

With the publisher's foreign rights director (a 20 year veteran with Bloomsbury USA & Houghton) heading to the Frankfurt Book Fair next month, the future is bright!

Would be great to see Entangled's list hitting bookshops worldwide.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Voices writing comp

All you budding category romance writers out there, Mills and Boon have just launched another New Voices competition.

They bought several authors from last year's comp, so go check it out here.


Good luck!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Life's curve balls

Life has a way of throwing you curve balls when you least expect it.

Saturday night, I'd had a ball at a party, get in the car to drive home and see little flashes of light out of the corner of my left eye (not UFOs, flashes in my eyes!)

Took a couple of Panadol, went to bed.
Sunday morning, flashes eased but blurry spots floating in my eye constantly.
Monday, more of the same, so this morning I went to an optometrist.

Turns out I have a PVD in my left eye.
Posterior Vitreous Detachment, where the jelly-like vitreous detaches from part of the retina at the back of the eye. The floaters are bits of jelly.

No cure, just have to live with it.

Yeah, it's a major pain, but could've been worse.
If the flashing lights come back, could be sign of retinal detachment and that's instant surgery to minimise loss of vision.
Pretty scary stuff!

No reason it happens, idiopathic, but it tends to happen in older people over 60! Hello! Not there for a quite a while yet! The joys of getting older...

In the meantime, I'll still be writing and reading and doing my best to ignore the blurry bits.
Interestingly, it's worse in brighter light, so if you see me swanning around in sunglasses permanently, it's not an ego thing, it's a necessity. :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

WEEKEND BOOK CLUB: Friends to Forever

I adore the Harlequin Romance series for its varied voices.


Some readers think the series is too 'sweet' and avoid it but let me tell you, as an author who writes for the series and who reads widely across it, these romances are packed with sizzle, sexual tension adding to the page turning quality of the books.


Some books in the series are lighter (eg. The Fun Factor mini series most of my books appear in) and some are emotional heart-wrenchers.


Nikki Logan's Friends to Forever is the latter.
Here's the blurb:


She was the high school princess. He was the high school nobody.
But Marc Duncannon and Beth Hughes were the best of friends—until a heated kiss exposed secrets and ruined everything….
Ten years later Beth seeks out Marc, and finds him battling to save a stranded whale. Together on a lonely Australian beach, they face exhaustion, the elements and their own personal demons—for Beth and Marc need to save each other, too. They discover that their friendship is worth fighting for—but between them might be something even stronger…perhaps a love that could last a lifetime…?


I remember reading Nikki Logan's debut and being blown away.
This book hasn't changed my opinion of her writing style.

Friends to Forever is character driven all the way.

An alcoholic heroine battling her demons and an emotionally scarred hero in desperate need of loving.

The poignant and realistic way in which they deal with their past is truly magical to read.


And I love how Nikki layers nature into all her books (this one features saving a stranded whale.)

An excellent, emotional read.

What are you reading this weekend?

Friday, September 09, 2011

READER REVIEW: Girl in a Vintage Dress

I love it when readers 'get' me.
When they can tell what has gone into the book by reading it.
This is one of those readers.

Just stumbled across this review for GIRL IN A VINTAGE DRESS on Goodreads:

Oh, how I adored this book, I really did.

Everything about it feels beautiful.

I am into vintage and retro myself (I really do wear my hair and makeup like my avatar!) and I could tell that Nicola Marsh had not only done her research very thoroughly but also enjoyed it!
The descriptions of Lola's shop, clothes, accessories, hair, make up etc are fantastic, I could really visualise everything.

The story is really good too! Chase and Lola are two wonderful characters; perfectly matched yet totally different, which makes for some really delicious tension.

What I like most about this book is the balance between the snappy, casual and fun writing and the tenderness of the romance.

Nicola Marsh's characters are always likeable and, more importantly, relatable and this is certainly the case with Chase and Lola (love that name!).

If I had to pick one word to describe this book it would be 'Gorgeous'. Because it really is!
Recommended.

The thing that struck me about this review is the reader picked up on how much I loved researching the vintage aspect. I spent hours pouring over vintage fashions and accessories and blogs, having an absolute ball, and I'm thrilled readers are getting a feel for my fun through the book.

Here's the full review.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Are you a follower?

Only a few days left to enter the BACK TO THE BOOKS giveaway hop.

I'm thrilled to welcome so many new followers to my blog. Stay tuned for more giveaways & competitions!

Check here for full details of this hop.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Branding

Timely post by Nathan Bransford on branding today.

He says there's no such thing as branding on the internet, only you, and I have to agree.

Because I've always wanted to write mainstream fiction alongside my Harlequin romances, I deliberately chose a generalised tagline "Flirty Fiction with Flair."

With the upcoming release of BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD, I've been toying with the idea of a separate blog, until I realised something.
I have a loyal following here. I look forward to interacting with those people daily.
I don't want to branch off somewhere else where I may miss out on those interactions.

Then there's Facebook & Twitter & Goodreads, where I chat daily too.
And I'm totally with Nathan. What you see on those media sites is ME. I chat life, books, kids, footy, food, Bollywood, publishing stuff.
I'm the brand.
Not a tagline, not what I write.
Me.

So that's what you're going to get.
Sure, there'll be loads of new Bollywood goodness here (stay tuned for some exciting reveals!) but what you see is what you get.

Nathan Bransford's post is reiterating this. Worth reading.

Don't forget the BACK TO THE BOOKS giveaway is running for another few days!
Check out my 3 book giveaway HERE.


Saturday, September 03, 2011

READER REVIEW: Tag Team


My reading time has been seriously curtailed this week while working on BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD edits and uploading my very first short story to Amazon & Smashwords!

(So Weekend Book Club will return next weekend.)

I'm thrilled to see 3 ripper reviews up on Amazon in the first 2 days:

"a super fast paced awesome short story packed with tension and sexual sizzle amidst the International police drama, action and espionage...I've always enjoyed Nicola Marsh's contemporary romances and this short story delivers a powerful punch! The dialogue and action scenes felt like I was watching a movie rather than reading!"

"Hot, potent and riveting! Amidst a life or death situation these two really spark, through dialogue, tension and emotion. When they finally get it on it feels so real, deep and exciting. Nicola Marsh is a whizz with words, creating such wonderful, fresh, lively characters. My only wish? That there had been more to this story!"

"Tag Team by Nicola Marsh oozes sizzlin heat... short and steamy, but wafting with goodness..."

Thanks to Nas, Kerrin & Katrina. Read their full reviews here.

And snap up the story for 0.99 cents!
Available at Smashwords too

Don't forget my 3 book giveaway running all this week!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

My first ebook short story release!

I'm thrilled to announce my romantic suspense special ops short story, TAG TEAM, is now available on Amazon & Smashwords.

Here's a snippet:

The woman had balls.
Big, brass cojones according to rumour circulating the ADF, though the technical terms in Coralee Keaton’s Australian Defence Force file read “brave, brilliant, resourceful.”
Garcia Diaz—Fox to anyone who wanted to walk out of his office without a permanent limp—had witnessed her demonstrate those admirable qualities first hand.
Now she was back.
To muscle in on his operation.
Again.
“Son of a bitch,” he muttered, squeezing his eyes shut, pressing the pads of his thumbs into them, wishing he could obliterate the memory of this woman and what he knew about her.
It didn’t work.
Her file was embedded in his brain: Coralee Keaton—Lee if you didn’t want a Remington 870 shotgun aimed at your head—thirty-four, joined the 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (Commando) after six years Army service, and became part of the embedded Tactical Assault Group (TAG) after 9/11.
An integral part of TAG if her results were anything to go by. This, on top of her leadership in 4 RAR (Special Forces Commandos).
Was there anything the ball-breaking wonder woman couldn’t do?
A brief pounding on the door had his eyes snapping open in time to see her stride into his office, her expression a study in polite professionalism, her eyes eerily blank, as if she didn’t know him.
Intimately.
“You cut your hair,” he said, throwing his pen on the stack of monotonous paperwork in front of him, pissed at her intrusion yet glad for the distraction.
Coralee Keaton might be a pain in the ass to work with but her taut body, long legs and impressive D cup more than compensated for the grief.
“You cut your surveillance on the Ebola job.”
She slammed her palms on his desk, loomed over him. “It nearly botched the whole operation.”
“But it didn’t.”
Leaning back in his chair, he locked hands behind his head, thrust his chin up, his smug smile guaranteed to grate.
She reared back, her blue eyes frigid as the Yarra River on a winter’s day as she stared him down.
“You better not make the same mistake on the ricin job.”
He’d had enough of this crap. Balling his hands into fists, he stood so fast his chair slammed into the filing cabinet behind him.
“I don’t make mistakes, Coralee.”
He deliberately used her full first name, hoping to get a rise.
It worked.
“Then what the hell am I doing here?”
“Wasting tax payers’ money?”
Stalking around the desk, he stopped a foot in front of her, invading her personal space, daring her to make an issue of it.
With a toss of her glorious shoulder-length black bob, she met his taunting gaze head on.
“I’m the best there is.”
Jabbing his chest for good measure, she smirked. “And don’t you forget it.”
Like he ever could.
He’d tried to forget, dammit, tried with every rebellious cell in his body, but the memory of the last time they’d hooked up on a job was burned into his brain.

Want to read the rest?
Grab it here for only 0.99 cents!
Or here at Smashwords.

And don't forget my 3 book giveaway in the post below!