Tuesday 28 August 2012

Always On The Go

Phew! The bank holiday weekend is over and there's only a week left of the school holidays, which means I should be able to get back into a routine again soon.

Conway Castle
We all took off to North Wales again for the long weekend and it was good to relax, even if my son and I did struggle a bit with our colds - who gets a cold in August?! - but I also managed to do lots of reading, some more planning for Damsel in Deceit (now a 3-oart series at least!) and I also wrote a 2,000 word short story called Jilly's Folly. I've now got plenty of reviews to write that will be springing up on here over the coming weeks, but I also came across a writing competition whilst I was away.

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Just For Fun: Favourite Disney Characters

I read a blog post by Carmen Falcone this morning that got me thinking about Disney characters. Here it is if you missed it: Hero and Heroine: How Much Have They Changed?, it's well worth a look.

Even now, I can remember my very first trip to the cinema - I'm guessing it must have been around 1981/82 but can't be sure, I was probably about 6 or 7 though (showing my age now) - when as a family we went to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. That ancient film proved to be the spark for a lifelong love of Disney films. I feel no shame in admitting that I still love them and have been to the cinema on many occasions to watch the latest release. I talked my family into going to see Tangled last year and when the kids got fidgety and bored, hubby took them out and left me there to watch the end. (As an aside, I came out of the cinema and booked a visit to my hairdresser and got my waist length hair chopped off to what you can see on my profile pic)

Monday 20 August 2012

Saddle Up! It's writing time again...

I was doing so well, resisting the need to write, but then I saw this call and the voices in my head just would not be quietened and I had to get back in the saddle.

As an experiment, I thought I'd document the creation of this manuscript and clue you in a bit to my thought processes but, be warned, it'll be pretty jumbled up. Obviously, I'm not a published author - yet - so this could all be a load of tosh. Even if it isn't, every writer works differently and you'll need to find what works for you. I'm usually more of a panster and let my plot evolve in stages but with the limited word count and submission deadline in mind, I'm trying something a little different to see how it goes.

The brief:
Write for Avon!
Would YOU like to write for Avon Books? We want to read YOUR romance novels and novellas! Submit to us today through and read on for specific submission requests from our editors. We’re always looking for the next heart-warming, blood-pumping romance, so even if your story doesn’t fit the below, submit to us! Need an story idea? Here’s what our editors are craving right now...

How could he not know? After all, he’s the father of a child…but he doesn’t, because it’s been kept a secret from him—sometimes for years. Now it’s your chance to put your own twist on the ever-popular, ever-perplexing ‘secret baby story.  We’re looking for short contemporary novellas, 20-25,000 words that will convince us that a baby really can be kept a secret!
  • 20,000 – 25,000 words
  • Sensuality level: from Moderate to super-sexy
  • Contemporary
  • Must be received by November 15th

Day one: Brainstorming

Okay, so I'm starting with a completely blank canvas and I have my notepad at the ready, turned to a blank page and ballpoint pen in hand. At first I considered the New Year theme, one of the other submission calls, and got the faintest idea of an opening moment of crisis by thinking about my heroine and what she was doing at the time. This is where it all gets a little bit scrambled!

Friday 17 August 2012

Book Review: The Bride Wore Chocolate by Shirley Jump

Score: 4 out of 5

Read excerpt here
Life couldn’t be more perfect for Candice Woodrow. Her gourmet gift basket company is thriving, and she’s set to marry steady, dependable Barry. There’s just one wrench in the fairytale. Two weeks before her wedding she wakes up in the wrong man’s bed. Candace thinks she’ll be able to run out the door and forget all about Michael Vogler, but the Boston millionaire has other plans for the jittery bride.
As the wedding approaches, Candace’s life is further complicated by a thrill-seeking grandma and a meddlesome mother whose marriage track record rivals Elizabeth Taylor’s. She attempts to drown her sorrows in chocolate, but with a sexy bachelor appearing on her doorstep at every turn – she finds herself wondering if there’s enough of the sweet stuff in the world to stop her heart from racing every time he comes near.

Wednesday 15 August 2012

New RIVA covers... maybe it's just me being a humbug?

Okay, so the Mills & Boon RIVA imprint re-launch is well underway and we got to see some of the new covers today.

Under the guise of 'research', I'd be interested to see if my initial response was just me being a grouch and saying "bah, humbug," for the sake of it so here are three covers, all for the same book (click on them to enlarge if you need to) used with kind permission from the author - thanks Liz.

Cover 1

Cover 2

Cover 3

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Book Review: A Vengeful Affair by Carmen Falcone

Score: 5 out of 5

Read excerpt here
Rich people get away with murder every day, but Vivian Foster intends to make billionaire Javier Rivera pay for what he did to her best friend—and how better to destroy a money-grubbing bastard than to sabotage the merger that means everything to him.
Javier Rivera would never hurt a woman much less kill one. But when he catches a gorgeous corporate spy in his office, he knows he can’t let her go—not when even a hint of scandal could ruin his career. Until the merger is signed, he’ll keep her close, even if he has to shackle her to his wrist. Literally.
But the closer Javier gets to Vivian, the more he wants her, and the more time she spends with him, the less she believes he could ever be a killer. Now Vivian and Javier have to discover the truth...and Vivian has to win the trust of her worst enemy.

Book Review Ratings Guide

My ratings will be as follows, sometimes with an extra .5 if a book falls between two ratings.

Score: 5 out of 5 = it was excellent and I will definitely re-read it
Score: 4 out of 5 = it was really good and I couldn't put it down
Score: 3 out of 5 = it was pretty good
Score: 2 out of 5 = it was okay
Score: 1 out of 5 = it wasn't my cup-of-tea
Score: 0 out of 5 = it was so bad, I couldn't finish it

Book Review: One Day to Find a Husband by Shirley Jump

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Ellie Winston is adopting her late friend's baby… But she hits a husband-sized hump: to adopt Jiao, Ellie has to be married! Where can a commitment-phobic female find a husband in a day? Then cutthroat billionaire Finn McKenna comes to Ellie with a business proposition, only he isn't prepared for Ellie's merger-with-a-twist…marriage!
Finn never lets anyone close, even someone as feisty and intriguing as Ellie. But saying "I do," even when you don't really, has a way of making even the most stubborn people wake up and realize what they've been missing...

Thursday 2 August 2012

Cover reveal: Avenge (Patronus #2) by Sarah M. Ross

I am delighted to bring to you a preview of the next book in the Patronus series by Sarah M. Ross, expected to be out in October 2012.

Cover designed by Donna Dull of Sharp Cover Designs

Book description:

Six months ago, Lucy Donovan thought that being killed by a drunk driver was the worst thing that could happen to her.

She was wrong.

Now, the person she loves most has been ripped away from her, soul held hostage, and Lucy has vowed to stop at nothing to get it back.

Part of a new team with enhanced powers, Lucy and her friends begin a quest to avenge the souls that have been stolen. Enemies of the Patronus have united, however, and a spy from within the Patronus realm is feeding the enemy their every move.

When a mission goes horribly wrong, Lucy’s soul becomes compromised. It will take a strength she didn’t know was within her to escape the darkness, return to the light and avenge the soul she loves.

Not got Patronus #1 yet? You can pick it up here...

   UK  or  US   

You can also check out Sarah's links here:

Join Sarah's mailing list for the latest on all Sarah's books, contests and much more!

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Reading list: July 2012

I've been really busy with my Christmas WIP and try to resist the call of the many books in my 'to read' pile. You can always tell when I'm getting ready to write a love scene, it's almost like I have to de-sensitise myself to it so that my own scenes are tame by comparison.

So many books to read (546 unread books on my kindle alone!) and so little time...
Follow on Bloglovin