Saturday, June 30, 2012

RIP Nan

Yesterday, my Nan died unexpectedly.

She was the sharpest, brightest, loveliest lady.

Her stories inspired me to write and she was my biggest fan, taking my books to her community group every week.

Her hugs and smiles brightened my days.
And she adored her great grandchildren.

The last words we said to each other were:
"I love you," and I responded with "I love you too."

I'm holding those words deep in my heart, along with the precious memories I have.

I loved my Nan very much and the emptiness is palpable.
The impulse to pick up the phone and chat with her is so strong, I've had to stop myself several times.

RIP Nan.
I'll love you forever.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pinterest: Pros and Cons

Everywhere I turn these days, people are discussing Pinterest.
More to the point, there are divided opinions whether to be on it or not.
Author loops are rife with Pinterest discussions and I've been chatting about it on Twitter too.

My viewpoint?

I jumped on Pinterest with gusto. Within the first week I had beautiful storyboards for my books and WIPs. My BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD and HOT HEROES boards had over 500 followers within days. I was loving it. Having an absolute ball. And it really helped my creativity to see the stories I was writing unfolding before my eyes in pictures.

Then a lawyer wrote an article about the dangers of Pinterest and of being sued by photographers.
Then 2 authors I know had to pay huge sums of money for incorrectly using pictures, despite taking them down as soon as they were notified.

And I pulled my boards.
All of them, except my covers, and I haven't logged onto Pinterest since.

It soured my entire experience, the thought that pictures we pin, despite linking back to the original source, can cause so many problems.

And then I started thinking...as an author, it's the bane of my existence when people illegally pirate my books, posting them for free on the Internet.
How do the photographers feel, having the same done to their work?

So in all good conscience, unless Pinterest cleans up the legalities, it's something I won't be doing.

Where do you stand on the Pinterest debate?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Be Here Now


What is "BE HERE NOW?"


“Be Here Now” is an inspiring documentary about the actor Andy Whitfield, who put the same determination and dedication that he brought to his lead role in the hit television show, “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” into fighting life-threatening cancer.

It was Andy’s hope that by opening his story up to a documentary, he might help or inspire others facing similar challenges, while pushing to accelerate the pace of cancer research around the world.

“When Andy was told his lymphoma had returned and that without treatment he had 3 – 6 months to live, he was compelled to share his exploration into the unknown. He selflessly invited a film crew into our lives, who followed us through out the last year of Andy’s magnificent and courageous journey. We now need your support to finish the documentary and fulfill Andy’s legacy.”
~ Vashti Whitfield (www.maybemcqueen.com)


What are "BE HERE NOW" Critiques?

“Be Here Now” needs funding for additional filming and editing, else the documentary will not be completed.

As a writer/fan of Andy Whitfield/despiser of cancer, Kathy Bradey has rallied some wonderfully generous authors to offer various manuscript, chapter and query critiques in exchange for your pledge/donation to the “Be Here Now” Kickstarter campaign.

For more information, see Kathy’s blog.

• If you would like to pledge without partaking in the auction, do so here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/426354716/be-here-now-the-andy-whitfield-story

Thank you for your interest and support! Please retweet, blog, spread the word!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

So you think you can write?

All you romance writers out there...ever dreamed of writing for HARLEQUIN MILLS & BOON?

Here's your chance!

Launching in September, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN WRITE contest offers a publishing contract as the ultimate prize!

You'll need a completed manuscript to enter.

Check out details here.

(and loads of fab writing tip links!)

Good luck!

Friday, June 22, 2012

MIA

Not very often I go a whole week without posting here but I've been laid up with a shocking flu!

3 whole days in bed, have never been so sick.

So I will return shortly...in the meantime, chat among yourselves...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Il milionario cerca aiuto


GIRL IN A VINTAGE DRESS has had some lovely covers around the world and this one is no exception.

So bright and sunny!

It's out this month in Italy with the lovely Nina Harrington.

Friday, June 15, 2012

GUEST BLOGGER: Lilian Darcy

Today I'm thrilled to welcome Lilian Darcy.
She has written an amazing 80+ books for Harlequin and been nominated for a RITA 4 times!


Last week the wonderful Liz Fielding had me as a guest on her blog to talk about "Saving Gerda", and somehow even though the blog post itself was a fairly serious musing on how I researched the book, in the comments section we drifted onto the rather more frivolous - and yet still critically important in every author's fantasy world - topic of who would play the characters from the book when they make it into a movie.

You can see why this is important, right?

Oh, excuse me, that's the phone. Better get it in case it's Hollywood calling...

It wasn't. Oh, well, never mind, I can still have all the fun of casting my book, without inconvenient reality stepping in. I mean, could my mythical producers really afford Johnny Depp?

In my fantasy world, absolutely!

I can see him very clearly in the role of Johannes, the shy, awkward and poverty-stricken artist who somehow doesn't know how good-looking he is.


Now, who do we pair him with, in the role of Sophie, who sees past the awkwardness?

Maybe Talulah Riley, who played Mary Bennet in the film version of "Pride and Prejudice" that featured Keira Knightley. She's looking a little older, now, than she does in this picture, otherwise she'd be too young for Johnny and too young for the role.


Then there's Kitty, who is really the main character in the book - beautiful, blonde, English and very well-bred.

How about Jessica Brown-Findlay from Downton Abbey? She could easily become a blonde.


Kitty's husband Christian is an important character in the story, although in many scenes he's a presence in the background. I like Hugh Bonneville for the role, but he'll need to be made to look a little younger than he does in Downton Abbey.

I like this picture of him, even though it's in black and white.


Finally, there's Gerda, the title character, and she's the hardest of all. I really struggle to go past the gorgeous photo of the girl on the cover of the book, but that was an old photo, and I suspect the model for it would be in her seventies by now. There is something haunting about her face, and yet she's clearly inherited her mother's beauty.


No, I really can't think of someone to play Gerda. She turns thirteen in the book, and children grow and change so fast, anyone who's out there now would be too old by the time filming took place.

Oh, there goes the phone again. Excuse me, I can't afford to miss that important trans-Pacific call...

Sigh. Still wasn't that big-time producer I'm waiting for. Never mind. The story is probably stronger in my own head... and maybe even on the page... than it could ever be on the screen.

Women's fiction and romance author Lilian Darcy has written more than eighty novels for Harlequin, Silhouette, MiraAustralia, and Mills & Boon. Under another name she has also written for Australian theatre and television. She has made many appearances on the Waldenbooks Romance Bestsellers list, and has four nominations for the Romance Writers of America's prestigious Rita Award.

You can buy SAVING GERDA here & here



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Friday, June 08, 2012

Publishing news: Harlequin's new series KISS

The cat's out of the bag...so now I can blab the news about Harlequin's news series KISS.

Launching in the USA in Feb 2013, all the books I write for Harlequin (previously released as Harlequin Romance & Presents Extra) will be released under this new series.

So the same fun, flirty reads from some of your favourite authors including Liz Fielding, Jessica Hart, Heidi Rice, Natalie Anderson, Aimee Carson, Amy Andrews, Ally Blake et al. will be part of KISS.

These books will continue to be sold in the UK under the revamped RIVA series, cover reveals soon!

I've seen the covers and...they're not what you expect!
Can't wait to share with you all.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Warming up for Bollywood


If you're in the USA, BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD will be on shelves in bookstores very soon (next week!) and I'm so excited.

It has also been selected for Walmart's Summer Beach Reads promo which is great!

So to celebrate the lead-up to mass market release, here's a review just in:


Oh, how I loved this book!  Mojito loving Shari and Rita are the best of friends – and Shari is quite the friend to take the brunt of Rakesh’s family wrath if things go south.  I loved the interaction between the characters, the funny moments, the food, and the bollywood movie references.  You are drawn into a world that is vibrant and you don’t want to leave!

The one thing standing in Shari’s way is Drew – can he spoil things with Rakesh and out her to his family as a fake fiance?  Can he keep the secret long enough for her to go back to New York and get Rita to meet Rakesh?

Would I recommend this book?  YES!! This book was funny and I couldn’t put it down.  I had to know what happened with Shari, Rita, Rakesh and Drew.  Would Rita and Rakesh end up together?  Would Drew and Shari get their chance at happiness?  Will I read more by this author?  Hell yes!  I can’t wait to see what Nicola comes out with next.

It's always a thrill when readers connect with a book so a huge thanks to Aislynn at Stitch, Read, Cook for this review!

Monday, June 04, 2012

GUEST BLOGGER: Sue Moorcroft


A warm welcome to Sue Moorcroft today.


BESIDE THE SEASIDE
When I decided to bring Honor Sontag from Connecticut to England, I could have planted her anywhere. I thought about Middledip, the middle-England village where some of my books are set; I thought about London, because a lot of Americans seem to love it. But neither of these seemed quite right for Honor.

It was Robina, a secondary character, who made me decide on Brighton, the small seaside city on the south coast of England. Robina’s an aging hippy, and Brighton has an eclectic and eccentric population where an aging hippy would fit in nicely.

It really wasn’t because my son was going to university in Brighton and I’d have a lot of excuses to visit the area … No, it wasn’t! I knew Honor would love Brighton. She’s an Anglophile and her dad used to take her to England almost every summer vacation, when she was a child. Brighton, with its shingle beach and typically British Palace Pier, would intrigue her. She’s a history major and as well as the Palace Pavilion, where the Prince Regent used to hold outrageously good parties in the early Nineteenth Century, there are castles and historic buildings scattered around surrounding East and West Sussex. But the fact that my son was going to university in Brighton was handy. Not just because I could see more of him than I might otherwise, but because when I was working at home (a three-hour car journey away), he would take photos I needed or check out details.

My editor, who knew the area, queried whether Honor would be able to see the derelict West Pier from the entrance to the Palace Pier, and I was certain that she could. But I sent him a text and he wandered down to the pier to investigate. He rang me: ‘Is she nineteen feet tall? Then, no. There are kiosks in her way.’ I grumbled a bit because I’d really wanted Honor to be able to see the West Pier from the Palace Pier, but at least he stopped me from writing one of those scenes that readers send you messages about, because you’ve got it all wrong.

I did a most of my research myself, of course. I didn’t actually find a tall, dark, hot local guy on which to base Martyn Mayfair, he came out of my imagination. But I spent a lot of time walking along the Undercliff Walk between Rottingdean and Eastingdean (the latter only exists in the book) where Martyn and Honor run together – arguing, mainly – and checking out the coffee shops, because Honor goes to work in one. I chose her a nice little bungalow, overlooking the sea – it belongs to Martyn’s sister – and made myself familiar with the landmarks (the fish and chips are fabulous in the White Horse Hotel) and then …

… I set the rest of the book in America. Where my brother lives.

I love research!

Sue Moorcroft writes romantic novels of dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes for Choc Lit. Love & Freedom, won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 at the Festival of Romance.
She's a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner, has written a ‘how to’ book, Love Writing – How to Make Money From Writing Romantic and Erotic Fiction (Accent Press), short stories, serials, articles and courses and is the head judge for Writers’ Forum.
Check out her website www.suemoorcroft.com and her blog at http://suemoorcroft.wordpress.com/ for news and writing tips. You’re welcome to befriend Sue on Facebook or Follow Sue on Twitter.
Thanks for stopping by, Sue! 

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Crimson Romance 25 book Kindle giveaway!


CRIMSON ROMANCE has revealed its website in the lead up to launching on June 4th!

And to celebrate, they're giving away a Kindle Fire with 25 launch books!

All you need to do is fill out a form, details here

(my release with Crimson Romance, FALLING FOR FLYNN, will be out in October this year. More details to come!)

Friday, June 01, 2012

Developing a thick skin

Authors, check out this brilliant blog post by Beth Revis on how to handle negative reviews.

Love it!