Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Morning Blues

I don't know what's up with my Internet connection lately, but it's on a definite go-slow mission to see how far it can stretch my patience before I explode. It's not another virus (at least I'm pretty sure it's not) since the other computers in the house are also suffering.

Then I had major issues yesterday morning uploading a few minor tweaks to my webpage. A five minute job took me over an HOUR and let's just say the air was an interesting shade of purple. I'm not at all techie minded and it takes me forever to work out something which probably is glaringly obvious to most other people!!

Oh yes, and I can't find my glasses so am now peering through my old ones. On the up side I'm collecting my new ones tomorrow, and they are a lovely bright red pair (hopefully this means I won't keep losing them - ha ha yeah right!)

And we have severe weather warnings! Everything is flickering and the shutters are banging!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Conference Pitches

Conference time is rapidly approaching, which means readying pitches for appointments with agents and editors. I came across a couple of blog posts by my agent on this very thing, one over at Romancing the Blog where she talks about the best way to pitch to an agent, and also over at Hooked on Romance, where readers sent in their short pitches and Emmanuelle gave feedback on them. Interesting!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I have a Dream...

I have this little dream that some day one of my books will be turned into a movie (I realise I have yet to have a full length novel published, but this is my fantasy!!!) I know how long the odds are, even if a book piques a producer's interest it's no guarantee of anything... but! Still, it's a nice dream I think?

Well, I was thrilled to discover that this has recently happened to a lovely writing buddy! And for her debut novel at that!

Fox are going ahead with the adaptation of Phillipa Ashley's Decent Exposure, published by Little Black Dress, for their Lifetime channel. The location's been changed from the Lake District to the Rocky Mountains and retitled The Twelve Men of Christmas, and it's all very exciting!!!

Oh, and it also proves that these trillion to one shots can and do happen!!!

Congratulations, Phillipa!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And the Winner...

of Shelley's fabulous Make That Man Mine is

Kerri Williams Writer of romance!

Congratulation, Kerri!

Please contact Shelley at shelleymunro @ gmail dot com (no spaces, etc!)

Monday, June 22, 2009

I am an Official Tweeter!

Thank you to everyone who popped over and left Shelley a comment over the weekend! I'll be doing the draw later today and will post it up probably first thing Tuesday morning (down under time)

Well I finally succumbed to the dark side and joined Twitter. I still haven't worked out how to respond to people who reply to my tweets (does anyone know?) So I'm not ignoring you, I just can't figure out how to reply!!! Hopefully I'll get the hang of it soon!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Make That Man Mine - Shelley Munro

Today I'm very excited to welcome my good friend, Shelley Munro, whose latest release from Ellora's Cave, Make That Man Mine, hit the cyber shelves earlier this week!

Shelley is generously giving away a copy of Make That Man Mine to one person who leaves a comment on this post. The winner will be picked Monday morning, US time (later for us Down Under!)

Shelley, it's great to have you back on my blog. Can you tell us whether being published is how you imagined it would be? Given the chance, are there things you'd do differently?

When I was an aspiring author, all I used to focus on was getting to the published side of the fence. Everything I did was aimed toward achieving that goal and climbing that fence. It’s funny, but I actually think life on the published side of the fence is harder and more time-consuming than anything I’ve ever done. When you’re first published there’s a steep learning curve, and the amount of promo necessary is a rude shock. It’s not an easy business, and the truth is a writer has to produce books at a fairly fast clip to stay in readers’ minds. Most people’s vision of a published writer dressing in pink, having long, leisurely breakfasts and doing a little dictation is way off course! So, long story short—no, it’s not how I imagined it would be. It’s hard work, it can be lonely and soul-sapping at times with long hours. It’s challenging, and I can’t think of a better job.

I would have started dabbling in e-publishing a lot sooner if I had my time over. Oh, and I would have started writing at a much younger age. Not that I regret the years of travel that I experienced instead of writing and rejections! *grin*

You're a very prolific writer, Shelley, and an inspiration to me. Do you write every day? Do you give yourself daily/weekly goals?

Yes, I write every day. I get twitchy when I don’t write. On the occasional day when I don’t write, I’m usually thinking about writing or plotting or doing some sort of promo. I don’t have rigid goals, although I might get up on a Monday and think, yes, I want to finish this story this week or edit a particular story to send to my editor. When I’m in writing mode, I try to write a constant 2000 words a day. I haven’t done that recently because I’m editing manuscripts, but I’ll get back to writing soon.

I know that twitchy feeling! Would you call yourself a panster or plotter?

These days I’d call myself a hybrid. I do a bit of both. I lean toward the panster style of writing, but if I get stuck, I’ll sit down and plot. Occasionally, I’ll plot an entire story. It depends on the story really.

What keeps you motivated when the writing gets tough?

Sheer bloody-mindedness. I hate to fail. If I decide to do something, no matter what it is, I keep trying until I succeed. I never give up. Some people—my husband included—would probably call me stubborn!

Is there any advice or light bulb moment you'd like to share about getting/being published?

I think the one thing to remember is not to compare yourself to other writers and worry about doing things wrong or differently. Each writer’s journey is different. There is no right or wrong way to get to the final destination of publication.

That's so true. Do you have critique partners (CPs)? If so can you tell us how you met up and your process?

No, I don’t work with a critique partner. I’ve found I prefer to work alone, although I wouldn’t mind a couple of beta readers, if anyone is interested in applying for the job *grin*

Tell us about your latest release. What can we expect?

My latest release is Make That Man Mine. It’s a paranormal story featuring a taniwha shifter. (a taniwha comes from Maori mythology and is a sort of water dragon) Oh, and it’s an erotic romance with a bit of a suspense plot.

Emma Montrose works as a secretary for a private investigator firm called George Taniwha & Son and wants to become an investigator. She also has a crush on Jack Sullivan (a taniwha shifter) and decides it’s time to make her move and go after Jack. It’s time to make that man take notice.

Jack is horrified when he learns he has to work with Emma. He’s noticed her curvy body but doesn’t want a partner. Besides, there’s a full moon on the way, and he’ll need lots of sex to keep things together and his taniwha at bay. No way does he intend to complicate matters by becoming close to Emma.

Unfortunately, the case means they need to pretend they’re lovers and have to share a room…

Here’s the blurb:

On her 25th birthday Emma Montrose decides it’s time to show bad boy investigator, Jack Sullivan she’s more than an efficient secretary. She’s a woman with needs, and she wants him.

Jack is a taniwha, a shifter, who requires women to satiate the sexual demands of the serpent within. Nothing more. Then work forces the reluctant Jack and ecstatic Emma undercover as a couple. Thrown together, pretence and reality blur generating hot sex laced with risk…

And here’s a short excerpt from the start of the story where Jack and Emma are arriving at the resort to start their investigation.

“You’re gonna have to cure the jumpiness around me. We’re meant to be lovers.”

Emma’s gaze shot up to meet dark chocolate brown eyes. Sinful eyes, she thought with an inward sigh. Those eyes could certainly lead her into sin.


“Sure, honey,” Emma said, miffed for almost giving them away. Yet she was angry with Jack too because she thought he was doing his best to show her up. He’d certainly tried hard enough to talk her out of the assignment. Emma wanted to glare but it wasn’t loverlike. Most of all she wanted to needle him. Yes, she felt like poking the man with a sharp stick to see if she could rattle him.

“How long before we get to our room?” she cooed, fluttering her lashes at him. “I need your cock inside me.” Part of Emma was shocked at her words, but the couple standing in front of them grinned at her in sympathy.

“Have you seen the contents of those goody bags the hostess is giving out?” the young woman said. A theatrical shiver jiggled her pert, braless breasts.

“No, what?” Emma asked, her fertile imagination creating all sorts of pictures. Handcuffs? Powerful aphrodisiacs? Torturous sex toys?

The woman leaned closer to whisper, “A pair of edible undies.”

“Both his and hers,” her partner added with a grin.

“No!” Emma breathed. Good grief. It would probably be like trying to choke down pills. She’d gag and throw up all over the man’s groin. All over Jack’s groin. “I hope they’re chocolate,” Emma said, waggling her brows.

“Oh, you’re terrible,” the woman said with a giggle.

So terrible that Jack’s arm tightened around her in silent warning, his fingers digging into the sensitive flesh at her waist. Emma smothered a grin. Perhaps if she kept needling him, she’d forget her nervousness.

“I’m looking forward to this week,” Emma confided to the young woman. “My honey works so hard. He’s exhausted when he gets home and most nights just falls asleep.” Emma peeked through lowered lashes to gauge Jack’s reaction. Her stomach flipped anxiously when she noticed the tic in his shadowed jaw. He looked as though he might burst while the arm around her waist tensed until it felt like a shackle. But not enough to make her stop goading him. “Too tired for good sex, if you know what I mean.”

A low growl vibrated through his chest. Emma stilled and the hair on her forearms stood to attention. Slowly her gaze rose from his broad chest and traveled up his neck, across his rigid jaw and collided with eyes the color of onyx.

“We intend to make up for that, don’t we, sweetheart?” His flashing eyes promised retribution when they were alone. “Can’t have you saying I can’t get it up often enough to keep you satisfied. Wouldn’t want you to wander to greener pastures.”

Oops. Perhaps she’d pushed a little hard.

Catch up with Shelley over at her blog, website and MySpace

Don't forget to leave a comment to go into the draw!!!

Link to Shelley's Tea for Two Interview

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Potato Brain

The last week has gone by in such a blur, it wasn't until I dropped my son off at school this morning and he asked what the date was that a terrible truth hit me. It's my anniversary and I had totally forgotten!!!

Now, it's not that I actually forgot the date of my anniversary (in case you're wondering!!!) I just hadn't realised we were that far into June already! OMG where has this year gone?!

Everything is now with my agent, so now I'm being a good CP and playing catch up. Next up I need to finish my novella, and it would probably be a good idea to tackle the ironing... on second thoughts when is that EVER a good idea?

Don't forget to pop back tomorrow, Friday 19th June, when the lovely Shelley Munro will be here, and to be in with a chance of winning her hot new release from Ellora's Cave, Make That Man Mine, all you need to do is leave a comment for her!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shouldn't You Be on the Computer?

On Sunday afternoon something happened which has never happened before. After we'd cleared away dinner my husband turned and gave me this very weird look.

"Shouldn't you be on the computer?"

I nearly fell over in shock! Usually he's the one trying to prise me off the thing!

Anyway, after spending a lot of the weekend and all day Monday working on the revisions for my agent, I finally sent them off at 1.40 am this morning before crawling into bed for four hours.

So, I did the usual school run and then had to tackle the shopping, despite feeling like one of Amanda's zombies. I was so spacey I ended up trying to stuff the frozen vegetables into the washing machine!

Thankfully, my revisions were okay, and I've just finished a few more minor edits. I'm also working on a couple of other things for my agent which I'm super excited about and involves a lot of my fave love/hate activity - research!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I Have an Agent!!!

I'm thrilled to share that on Friday night I accepted representation from Emmanuelle Alspaugh of Judith Ehrlich Literary Management for my darling Roman!!

I'm so excited. Emmanuelle has been at the top of my dream agent list ever since she read the full of my first full length paranormal romance a couple or so years ago, and made some very insightful and encouraging suggestions. I'm deep in revision mode at the moment, tightening up the manuscript after our chat on Friday but still can't quite believe it's all true!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thai'd Up - Helen Hardt

Today I'm interviewing Helen Hardt, who has been a very busy lady this last year with several releases from The Wild Rose Press, and an upcoming release from Ellora's Cave. Today we're chatting about Thai'd Up, the fabulously titled Scarlet Rose Destination Pleasure which is scorching up the bestseller charts!

Helen it's great to have you back on my blog. Can you tell us whether being published is how you imagined it would be? Given the chance, are there things you'd do differently?

Here's the weird thing -- I don't feel much different at all, LOL. I'm still learning. I'm stilling finding stuff in my work that makes me say "I can't believe I did that!" I don't think a writer is ever 100% satisfied with her work. I know I'm not. I started out with a small press, The Wild Rose Press. I have six contracts with them, and no, I don't think I'd do anything differently. My success there gave me the courage to submit to Ellora's Cave, and I now have a contract there, which is exciting. I'm still holding out for New York with my longer works. But honestly, I've only submitted a few times. At my first writers' conference, key note speaker Susan Wiggs said she stopped counting rejections at 140! I'm not sure I've even gotten fifteen yet. So I need to bite the bullet, grow that thick rhino skin (I'm the biggest thin-skinned wuss you'd ever want to meet, LOL) and SUBMIT.

I know what you mean about a writer never being 100% satisfied with her own work! Do you write every day? Do you give yourself daily/weekly goals?
With all the other stuff I do, I found myself putting my own writing on the back burner. In May, some friends and I challenged ourselves to write everyday. I personally decided to do it in the morning, before emails, blogs, etc., with a goal of at least 1K. It has worked well, and I wrote over 26K last month. I'm continuing this month.

I'm terrible at procrastinating on the Internet! Now to your writing process. Would you say you're a panster or plotter?

Such a pantser! Though for my recent western historical novella, The Outlaw's Angel, I wrote a synopsis first because the submissions call required it. Do you know something? I love writing from a synopsis! I actually know where I'm going! It certainly gives writer's block the boot. Of course, then you have to write a synopsis, LOL, which I normally don't do until a project is complete.
When I get stuck and I need to brainstorm, I use the W plot method, which you can find at my friend Karen Docter's website: It's a plotting technique for pantsers ;).

What keeps you motivated when the writing gets tough?

Tough question! Friends who understand. A wonderful husband who thinks I'm the world's greatest writer ;). He always makes me feel better about myself when I get a rejection.

Supportive hubbies are the best! Is there any advice or light bulb moment you'd like to share about getting/being published?

Don't stop writing! Once you're published, all of a sudden there are loops, blogs, promotion. Your time can easily get eaten up. Always put family first, then writing, then the rest of the stuff.

That's great advice. Do you have critique partners (CPs)? If so can you tell us how you met up and your process?

Yes. I have five CPs altogether. Three of them are local, and we blog together at The Colorado Vixens ( I met Tricia Leigh Wood first. We joined Colorado Romance Writers at the same time. Then we hooked up with Monica Kaye a few months later. A few months after that, Viola Estrella joined us. We meet and exchange pages every two weeks. We all have different strengths, so our sessions are always helpful.
I also have two online CPs who I met through freelance editing -- Cari Quinn and Paty Jager. Cari is a huge help with my erotic romance, and Paty with my historicals. Paty and I exchange weekly and Cari and I every two weeks. It all works well!

I love my CPs too! Tell us about your latest release. What can we expect?

Thai'd Up is my latest erotic romance and is available at The Wild Rose Press, Wilder Roses. Here's a blurb and excerpt (R):


Visiting Bangkok to do an interview for her employer, Heidi Clarke is intrigued by the wild and raucous nightlife. When a handsome and engaging stranger, dressed as the Phantom of the Opera, offers to escort her into a BDSM club, she's too curious to refuse. As the man behind the mask introduces Heidi to new and exciting pleasures of the flesh, she can't help but wonder who he is. Or if she really wants to know.

Excerpt (R):

“I know how to keep my submissive safe. And I know what will feel good to you. Trust me.” His velvet voice slid over her, caressing her with its whiskey-like smoothness.

Trust him? Should she surrender to his power over her? God, she wanted to. He wouldn’t hurt her. She was positive. It was in his voice. In the way he looked at her. The way he kissed her. Her pussy still pulsed from her orgasm. She wanted more. Taking a deep breath, she turned over onto her stomach.

“Your skin is the color of moonlight.” His fingers trailed down her spine over the small of her back to her bottom. He squeezed the taut flesh. “Such a beautiful ass.” He pressed a finger to her anus. “Tell me, teerak, has anyone ever fucked you here?”


“Would you like me to be the first?”

“I...I don’t know.” Anal sex? She had never considered it. Ever. Hadn’t given it a thought. So why was the image of him pounding into her dark tunnel making her so hot she couldn’t see straight?

“I’d love to take you there.” He smoothed his finger along the crease of her cheeks. “So lovely.” He sighed. “But for now, I have a promise to keep. Put your hands above your head and grab the bars in the headboard.

Heidi complied, her body quivering in anticipation. A soft whispery caress fluttered across her back.

“Silk, my angel.” He bound one wrist to the bars of the headboard, then the other. “Now get on your knees.”

She tucked her knees forward, her head buried in a silky black pillow. Another feathery caress flowed over the cheeks of her ass.

“Will you trust me, teerak?” Phantom’s breath puffed against her hips.

“Yes.” Tingling sparks threaded through her body. “I trust you.”

Catch up with Helen over at her blog and website

Link to Helen's Passion in Paris Interview

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Misbehaving Heroes

Oh whoops. Another week slipped by without me noticing! I'm a very bad blogger. But I've been busy writing, so I'm pleased about that and have just hit the 12k mark on my new novella. Currently the hero is misbehaving and my heroine is enjoying every moment.

I don't have a proper title for it though, which is a bit distracting since I usually need that in place before I can really get stuck into it. It does have a theme title, which isn't the same but appears to be working so I'm going with that for now. But I really want a rocking one before I sub, that sums up the story and catches the eye.

I've also now got my own group over at Coffee Time Romance. Yay! I'm a Coffee Corner Author!!! I'm so excited to have my own space over there. I haven't done much with it yet but I'm gradually moving in!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Codpiece, anyone?

Kaye has a great post about research today, and it was very timely for me since last week I started a new story and realised there was a lot I didn't know about the period.

Anyway, for some odd reason today I gave my hero a codpiece. And the more I thought about it the more I wasn't sure he ought to have one. So I had a bit of a Google and stumbled across this most delicious site, Renaissance Dancewear which kept me enthralled with the history of this intriguing article of manly modesty.

But the bit which totally cracked me up was a snippet from Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales", when apparently men's shirts became shorter thus ensuring all their unmentionables were on public display. I've pasted it in below for your educational pleasure!!!

Alas! some of them show the very boss of the penis and the horrible pushed-out testicles that look like the malady of hernia in the wrapping of their hose, and the buttocks of such persons look like the hinder parts of a she-ape in the full of the moon. And moreover, the hateful proud members that they show by the fantastic fashion of making one leg of their hose white and the other red, make it seem that half of their privy members are flayed. And if it be that they divide their hose in other colours, as white and black, or white and blue, or black and red, and so forth, then it seems, by the variation of colour, that the half of their privy members are corrupted by the fire of Saint Anthony, or by cancer, or by other such misfortune.