Sunday, December 31, 2006
Robin, please email me at nalinisinghwrites @ gmail.com.
Everyone else - several more weeks of winning to go!! :)
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Onto today's post: Sara tagged me to do my five favorite Christmas songs, but I missed the tag in the madness before Christmas, so I'm going to do it now. But since Christmas is over, I'm going to change the tag to five favorite love songs.
1. The Rose - Bette Middler
2. Last Kiss - Pearl Jam (If you haven't heard this, it is the most amazing love song but fair warning, it will probably make you cry).
3. Slow Hand - Pointer Sisters
4. Ordinary People - Clay Walker
5. Friends and Lovers - I don't actually know who sings this!
Tag, you're it. What are your favorites? Spread the love (on your blog or in the comments - take your pick)!
Friday, December 29, 2006
This is a close-up picture of the terracotta soldiers and their horses in Xian, China. The pits where they were discovered are just huge - they were buried with an emperor, to help him in the afterlife.
Age has turned them all brown, but when made, they were beautifully colored. Apparently, the archaeologists may have found some that are sealed in a chamber and remain colored - but they can't open the chamber because as soon as they do, the color will dissipate.
Here's another shot that shows the size of these pits and the enclosure built to protect them. It's a truly awesome sight. The sense of age in the place is amazing.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
If you haven't read these books, Lora Leigh's world is a place where the Genetics Council has engineered human and animal DNA together to create Breeds. These Breeds were meant to be soldiers and assassins and were kept locked up in labs, but have now found freedom and the world has to deal with them.
Here's the blurb for Megan's Mark (from LL's site):
Cursed with the extraordinary power to feel other peoples' emotions, Megan Fields has tucked herself away in a remote corner of New Mexico, working as a small-town sheriff's deputy. She finds solace in the silence and heat of the desert. But when Breeds begin dying on her watch, Megan realizes that the secrets from her past can't stay buried forever. Someone is out for blood - her blood.
An arrogant Feline Breed, Braden Arness broods with feral intensity. His mission to solve the mysterious murders brings him to Megan, a woman who accosts his senses like no other. Only with him can she let down her guard - and surrender to the insatiable hunger that wracks her body. But as they team up to hunt the elusive killers, Braden and Megan find themselves becoming the prey...
These books are hot enough to singe (talk about sizzling chemistry!) but what really did it for me was that I fell in love with the characters and more importantly, I could imagine them falling in love with each other. Megan and Braden just 'fit'.
I had the same reaction to Lance and Harmony in Harmony's Way. These couples might be driven together by the mating heat, but what keeps them together is how right they are for each other.
It's sexy, it's original and it has great characters - I totally recommend this series. (FYI: Megan's Mark isn't actually the first book - several of the series came out in e-format, but I had no trouble picking up the threads of the world so go forth and read!)
The next book is Tanner's Scheme (Aug 07), which I have managed to get my paws on in advance through various nefarious methods! I'll post on that closer to the release date since it would be just mean to tease you all so far in advance! *g*
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Everyone who entered originally and didn't win is still entered. If you didn't enter last week, leave a comment on this post and you're in. I'll pick a random winner Sunday morning my time so you can comment anytime before then. Good luck!
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Want to share any good presents you got? I'm currently listening to one of mine - Westlife's "Love" album. According to my 'cool' friends, I shouldn't admit to liking Westlife in public but I'm at peace with my taste in music.
Ok, your turn!
Monday, December 25, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Yeah, I know, you don't care. You just want the names of the winners. Here they are (picked by a combination of me closing my eyes and pointing, a random number generator and the fact that I think any woman with Kat's news deserves an ARC while she's still got free time to read one!):
Email me your addresses at nalinisinghwrites @ gmail.com and we'll get the ARCs in the mail to you.
As you know, I'm giving away at least one ARC for the next five weeks. Because I think you all are awesome people, I'm not going to make you return each week to re-enter. If you've thrown your name in the hat once, consider it entered for the entire duration. (I'll put up a reminder every week for new entries).
However, as I said, I don't have everyone's emails and some of your profile links aren't working so make sure to drop by on Sundays to check if you've won. If an ARC stays unclaimed for longer than a week, I'll redraw - I figure that's fair.
One sleep to go till Christmas!
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Don't forget - the ARC winner will be up tomorrow so swing by then as I don't have everyone's emails.
And have a fabulous weekend!
Friday, December 22, 2006
Do you think the revolution will last? Everyone's blogging now but five years down the track? Any predictions?
p.s. I meant to add this in the ARC post. If you actually review for a review site, then email me so I can make sure the site gets put on my list of places to send to.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
But wait, there's more - I'll be giving away at least one ARC per week through to the end of January, so even if you don't win this week, there's always next. I've had these ARCs made for this giveaway, so they're fairly simple but you'll get the book.
What's the catch? As the whole point of an ARC is to get the word out about a book, I'm asking all the winners to review the book. It doesn't matter where you do it - on your blog/your myspace etc, but please review Visions if you win an ARC. And because I'm giving away copies so early, I'm asking that those reviews be posted up in the final week of February (Feb 26-March 3), just prior to the book's release.
I'll pick a winner this weekend and post up the name on Sunday 9am my time, so drop your name in the hat anytime before that and you're in.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
VENUS ENVY by Shannon McKelden
(TOR Books, December 26, 2006)
Take one hunky firefighter, one stubborn "Cinderella," and one very reluctant fairy godmother and what do you get? Rachel Greer wants no part of Venus's scheme to land Mr. March as her Prince Charming, but Venus is determined to do just that. She's only a few love-life fixes short of returning to her former goddess status, and she's not letting one mulish mortal stand in her way.
It appears the only way Rachel can get rid of the very un-Disney-like fairy godmother is to play along. So she follows Venus's plan to interview Luke Stanton's ex-girlfriends...which Venus believes will cure Rachel's relationship fears, but which Rachel knows will only prove her point that men are never what they appear to be. But, when Venus's plan appears to work, and Rachel and Luke fall in love, does Rachel dare set aside her fears about happily ever? Or will betrayal send her back into relationship seclusion...this time forever? And what happens when a goddess-turned-fairy godmother breaks the most important rule--protecting herself from human emotions?
ABOUT SHANNON McKELDEN
Shannon McKelden has wanted to be a writer since she earned a coveted ‘A+++’ from her 9th grade English teacher. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her high school sweetheart, two kids, two cats, a dog and a crow.
Witty, funny, and truly original, McKelden’s romance is a standout. -- Booklist
Sexy, clever and fun, Venus Envy is absolutely delightful from beginning to end. Author Shannon McKelden has talent to spare. – Jane Porter, author of The Frog Prince
Debut author McKelden is undeniably talented, milking a fun plot for all it's worth. 3 Stars. – Romantic Times
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Bound By Marriage - Feb 07
Visions of Heat - March 07
Caressed By Ice - Sep 07
Novella in Anthology - Oct 07
I'm going through the draft of the novella at the moment and absolutely loving it!
Okay, your turn. What's happening in your life at the moment?
Monday, December 18, 2006
Now, given that Kellerman isn't the most common of names, I wondered if these two were related. And being the nosy parker that I am, I read the jackets and realized that they were, in fact, married, which I (being a romance novelist) thought was pretty cool. So I took a couple of their books home and that is how I started reading J & F Kellerman.
The Garden of Eden and Other Criminal Delights is an anthology of short stories. Most of them focus on the criminal element, but there are four pieces at the back of the book that focus on the theme of family.
If you read the Rina Lazarus/Peter Decker books, you'll be happy to know they appear in a couple of the stories. But there are several completely stand-alone stories too so you can just dive in even if you've never read this author before. And there's quite a bit of dark humor in a few of the stories. One of these is my personal favorite in the collection - Malibu Dog has a twist that I just did not see coming. Anybody else read it? Did you guess the twist?
So, do you have any stories about how to came to start reading a particular author?
Saturday, December 16, 2006
1. Scrubs - how funny is this show? I love it! (Dr. Acula anyone?)
2. Killer Instinct - this just started playing in NZ and I'm hooked. And it has nothing to do with Johnny Messner *g* Okay, maybe a little bit. But the storylines are nice and twisty, which I like.
3. SVU - I reckon this is one of the most intense and well-written shows on tv. Olivia is one of my favorite characters ever.
4. Random Documentaries - this is one of the things I missed most living in Japan. They had brilliant documentaries on but I could only understand about half of them because of the language used - ie. on the fascinating doco about Bird Flu, there was a lot of science vocabulary that I didn't know.
5. House - I've only caught two episodes of this but I think I'm going to like it.
Okay, your turn. What's on your "must-watch" list?
Friday, December 15, 2006
It's a little creepy (ok sometimes a lot creepy) but this book also has a sort of dark humor. Dexter is a very engaging narrator - certainly not one you can forget. He's the nice guy you'd never pick as a homicidal maniac (his description of himself). Since this book is told in the first person, it's an extremely interesting ride. Pick it up if you want something different.
I have to thank Bam for bringing this book to my attention. If you want a more in-depth review, have a read of hers.
Have you read anything recently that was just so "different" it stuck in your mind?
Thursday, December 14, 2006
So, got any good Xmas shopping (or plain old shopping!) stories to share?
This isn't a shopping story, but last Xmas we were in Tokyo and I've never seen a city so beautifully lit up for the holidays. This is a shot of the small lights outside Shinjuku Station. And talking about crowds - apparently one million people pass through Shinjuku at rush hour. It's amazing to watch!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I'm happy to say I needn't have worry. I really enjoyed this book. It's set in two time periods - the first generation after Pern has been settled, and then four hundred years later. The issue that connects the two times is a sickness that's begun to affect and kill the dragons that protect Pern from the deadly 'thread' that falls from the sky.
While I liked the stuff set in Pern's future, what really caught me was the past, where we got to meet Wind Blossom, the daughter of Kitty Ping - the woman responsible for developing the dragons. In previous books, Wind Blossom was in the background and I wondered about her. I feel like this book gave me a chance to know her.
Because of its references to things that have been explored in previous books, Dragonsblood probably won't be as interesting for those who haven't been following the series, but if you're looking to pick up a good fantasy series, the Dragons of Pern books are amazing. A big thumbs up from me.
While this book wasn't actually a prequel in the real sense of the word, it did make me think about that topic. Most of the time, I like reading prequels. It lets me color in the past that might've affected the characters I've already fallen in love with. But I tend to back off from reading them when I know that something really bad is going to happen to the characters in the future. It just seems that the knowledge compromises my belief in the the "happy ever after". And I like my HEAs!
What about you? Any thoughts?
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Also, I've got another Out of the Blogosphere tour book - an anthology - for you. Personally, I like anthologies - they often give me a chance to read new authors. And I really appreciate how I can pick one up when I'm busy, read one of the stories, then put it back down. It's like having a snack to pep you up. What about you? Anthologies work for you?
Here's the tour book. I must say I find myself intrigued by the blurb. Check it out.
“Come Moonrise” by Lucy Monroe featured in UNLEASHED
(Berkley, December 5, 2006)
Ty MacAnlup has seen the tragedy that a mating between a werewolf and a human can bring and he wants no part of it, no matter how much his body and heart ache for a taste of Frankie's softness. Frankie has loved Ty for years and while she doesn't know he's a werewolf, or even that such things exist...she does know that to her, he's always been more than a mere man. Ty's hidden beast wreaks havoc with his determination to stay away from Frankie when they are trapped together in a small cabin in the snow bound wilderness.
ABOUT LUCY MONROE
Award winning author Lucy Monroe sold her first book in September of 2002. Since then she has sold more than 30 books to three publishers and hit national bestsellers lists in the US and England. Her highly charged, sensual stories touch on the realities of life while giving the reader a fantasy story not easily forgotten. Whether it's a passionate Harlequin Presents, a sexy single title for Kensington or a steamy historical or paranormal for Berkley, Lucy's books transport her readers to a special place where the heart rules and love conquers all.
Website: http://www.lucymonroe.com or http://www.lucymonroecotm.com
Monday, December 11, 2006
This is a collection of short stories by Laurell K Hamilton, including a couple of Anita Blake stories (one new and one previously published in the Bite anthology).
I'm a LKH fan so I expected to enjoy this collection and I did. My favorite story was probably "There Be Dragons". This was a very dark story about an empath - Jasmine - who works as a dream therapist with serial killers. She's called back to her old training facility (a place she hates) when a little girl with the same powers starts killing people. The story is about whether Jasmine can stop the child. Very intense.
On the opposite end of the spectrum was "A Lust of Cupids" which is set in a world where baby cupids exist and go around shooting people with arrows of true love. And oh yeah, they can be bribed by matchmaking mothers. Cute story. Made me smile.
Another one I really liked was "A Scarcity of Monsters", about a researcher who works with lake monsters. The monster (Irving) had his own distinct personality, which I thought was awesome, especially within the confines of such a short format.
And then there was, "Selling Houses". This is set in the Anita Blake world but is about the ordinary people in that world, in this case, a real estate agent. Abbie has to sell a house that has very bad karma - the last tenants died after a case of demonic possession led to murder. Now she has to deal with bloodstains that won't disappear and a possible ghost. I was totally rooting for the heroine in this story.
Overall, I thought this was a great collection. I think it shows exactly how broad LKH's imagination is - I especially wouldn't mind seeing more of the world in "There Be Dragons". And if you haven't read LKH before, this is a good place to start as you get an intro into the Anita Blake books as well.
(p.s. How awesome is that cover? I lust after it!)
Saturday, December 09, 2006
First, I have a confirmed release date for Caressed By Ice, the third Psy/Changeling book. It's going to be September 07. Yippee!
Second, if you're in the mood to win stuff, Paperback Writer is doing giveaways - plus she has a list of others doing the same.
Third, have you seen the movie Bride and Prejudice? It's been out for ages but I couldn't get hold of a copy in Japan (though I did manage to find Bend It Like Beckham). I was prejudiced (*g*) to like this anyway because that cute Martin Henderson is from NZ, but I thought it was a sweet, romantic movie that had me grinning throughout. That song "No Life Without Wife" is hilarious. If you haven't seen this, leave your serious side at the door and have a look-see.
Fourth, I have to rave about a book I finished at 1a.m. last night: Animal Instincts by Gena Showalter. The reason I have to rave is that this book is a single title contemporary - a funny one, which doesn't usually work for me (I'm into the darker stuff in case you hadn't guessed). But the second I read the first line of Gena's book, I couldn't put it down. Naomi, the heroine, is a doormat (in her own words) who is trying to channel her Inner Tigress. Unfortunately her sexy (whoa!) new employer keeps throwing her off the path to Tigress-ness.
Sexy, funny and emotional, this is just a great book. Go read! Here endeth the book pimp section of today's post.
Have a great weekend folks!
Friday, December 08, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Here's the blurb from Yvonne's site:
Connor Knight, the youngest of the Knight brothers, wants the one thing Holly Christmas could never give him - a child of his own. Holly wants what Connor has sworn never to part with again - his heart. Sleeping with her boss after the staff Christmas party was not the best career move Holly ever made - but on the anniversary of the day she was abandoned as a toddler, who could blame her for seeking a sense of belonging in the arms of the man she's secretly loved for yearsWhat really made this book stand out for me was Holly. She's a wonderful heroine that you just want to cheer on. Then there's Connor. He's a strong, alpha male but Yvonne did an awesome job of showing us how hurt he was by what his ex-wife did, and how badly it wounded him.
For Connor, finding solace in his virgin secretary's arms is salve to his wounded heart after the shock discovery his ex-wife had terminated their child. What is Holly to do when she discovers she's pregnant with the child he never dreamed he'd have? She has to find the strength to face her deepest fears and find the answers to her past while standing up to Connor's determination that nothing will go wrong this time. They must both learn to break down the barriers they've built around their hearts and learn to trust in love again.
I also loved how these two talked - sometimes at painful cross-purposes because of their emotional scars - but they did talk, and talk about things that mattered. There are a lot of heart-wrenching moments and I'll admit I might've been a wee bit teary-eyed during some of it. Oh, and it's hot enough to burn. *g*
If I had one complaint about The Boss's Christmas Seduction, it would be that I wanted it to be longer. And in my eyes, that's not a bad thing to say about a book! Lucky for me, this is the first of the New Zealand Knights trilogy and the next book - The CEO's Contract Bride, comes out in Jan. (Though some of us shameless types might have twisted the author's arm and gotten an advance copy ;) ). I absolutely recommend this book - go grab a copy!!
I love discovering new writers to enjoy. What about you - any new or new-to-you discoveries this year?
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
These two are just the most amazing characters, and that's not even counting the wonderful supporting cast. I have a soft spot for Trueheart in particular. So really all I'm going to say is if you haven't read the JD Robb books, go now and do it! Start at the start - Naked In Death, for maximum impact.
Okay, fess up. Who's your I-would-read-it-even-if-they-were-counting-lint author/characters?
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I'll be talking about some of those books in the next few days, but first, I have an Out Of The Blogosphere tour book for you. I haven't read Inferno, but it looks (excuse the pun) seriously hot. And I gotta say, Vivi Anna's bio is way more interesting than mine! Check it out.
(Oh and Denise's winner has been posted up - scroll down).
INFERNO by Vivi Anna
(Kensington, December 2006)
Vivi Anna's gorgeous, leather-clad heroine, Kat, is back in another wildly erotic adventure set in a future world where passion has no rules — and no limits ...
Kat needs to find a scientist rumored to have created an antidote to a deadly virus, but he's hiding out in the violent underground city of Inferno. Her one-time lover Hades will take Kat where she needs to go, but only if she promises to be his, body and soul.
ABOUT VIVI ANNA
A BAD GIRL at heart, Vivi Anna likes to burn up the pages with her original unique brand of fantasy fiction. Whether it's in ancient Egypt, or in an apocalyptic future, Vivi always writes fast paced action-adventure with strong independent women that can kick some butt, and dark delicious heroes to kill for.
Once shot at while repossessing a car, Vivi decided that maybe her life needed a change. The first time she picked up a pen and put words to paper, she knew she had found her heart. Within two paragraphs, she realized she could write about getting into all sorts of trouble without suffering the consequences.
When Vivi isn't writing, you can find her causing a ruckus at downtown bistros, flea markets, or playgrounds.
Combine two star-crossed lovers, a deadly virus, a passel of Dark Dwellers, and an underground nemesis bent on destruction and you get one heck of an adventure. This follow-up to Hell Kat will have you cheering for the good guys all over again — and laughing out loud while you do it! A fun, sexy romp that leaves you crying out for more. – 4 stars, Romantic Times
Monday, December 04, 2006
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who came along to party with me and all the other authors. I hope you had fun!
It'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming from tomorrow (ie. a state of organized chaos). Have a great Monday folks!
On my, oh my! I loved your funny Christmas stories. You made it very difficult to pick, but it's pretty hard to top the fire brigade and a naked DH, don't you think? *LOL*
So, Barbara, you win the free download of Gift of the Goddess!
And because I can't resist cats, there's an oversized colour postcard of Mr Gorgeous for Cathy and Froggie. If you go here, you can see a photo of my cat, who likes to consort with dragons - http://www.deniserossetti.com/dragon.html
To collect your prize, email me - deniserossetti @ gmail.com (no spaces)
Many blessings to you and yours for the holiday season. May all your dreams come true.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Thanks for all your fun comments. You've all made me want to go back to Italy and now!!! (Not like I really needed any sort of prod of course.) And I wish I could have given all of you a trip to Rome as a grand prize, but alas, my funds don’t quite extend that far. Now if I had ended up with the hero from my giveaway book, HOW TO MARRY A BILLIONAIRE then it would have been a different story ;).
Maybe if we all just close our eyes, tap our heels together and say, three times, 'There's no place like Rome' ;).
Anyhoo, the winner of HOW TO MARRY A BILLIONAIRE is - drum roll please…
who said that she reminisces about her trip to Italy every time she sees scenes from movies or reads other people's stories. I’m with you there Angela! Please contact Nalini (nalinisinghwrites @ gmail.com) with your addy and I’ll pop it in the post.
And to see how my Italian hero turned out, A MOTHER FOR HIS DAUGHTER is on shelves all this month through Silhouette Romance.
Merry Xmas to all!!!
Thanks for all the posts..... we certainly have some very inventive liars among us. The winner is debra g for not only making me laugh out loud, but also for being brave enough to share her
story. debra if you can email me at sarahantz @ hotmail.com your address I'll send your prize.
And thanks Nalini for the blog party. It was a really neat idea and has been great fun.
When Denise Rossetti was a little girl, she had an aunt who would tell her the most wonderful fairy stories - all her own creation. Denise grew up, as little girls do, but the love of stories has never left her. She loves happy endings, heart-pounding adventure and the eventual triumph of good over evil. All hail the guys in the white hats, she says - unless the ones wearing black are more...um... interesting?
Denise lives in a comfortable, messy old house in the Australian suburbs and keeps busy writing erotic romance for Ellora's Cave. She tends to wave her hands around a lot, which can be unfortunate if the tale she's telling happens to have explosions in it!
Christmas is such a family time, isn't it? With everything that implies, all the joy and sadness, all the laughter and angst. When we were first married, we didn't bother with a tree—not until the year I fell pregnant. Then we got one! Plastic of course, I couldn't cope with drooping branches when the temperatures are in the nineties! (Not very housewiferly, I'm afraid. If that's a word.)
Every year, I've wrangled the kids into a photo opportunity in front of that plastic Christmas tree. The sequence starts with a little bub rolling around on the rug all mixed up with the presents. It continues this year with two beautiful young people, both their heads higher than the angel on the top. Let's face it, they're taller than me, let alone the poor tree! My babies…
I'm getting all sentimental and soppy, but I reckon it goes with the Christmas territory. I've been sitting here remembering the laughter and the love. Every family has its Christmas stories. We all sit around the table and play "remember when?" It's part of the glue that keeps families together.
There was the year my mother used a can of black cherries on the pavlova. That's a yummy Australian desert – frothy egg white meringue gooey stuff and sugar and fruit on top. (You can tell I'm an eater, not a cook.) The whole thing went blue, BRIGHT blue. I can still see my Mum and my sister leaning on the fridge literally crying with laughter. We ate it, of course. *grin*
Then there was the time my sister gave my stepdad (who's a terrible hoarder) a pretty little box labelled "Pieces Of String Too Short To Be Of Use". You should have seen his face!
On one never to be forgotten occasion, my mother drank a whole glass of sparkling burgundy, very quickly. Nothing remarkable in that, it was a hot day. But my Mum is a little lady and she rarely touches alcohol. After about five minutes, she said, very quietly, "I feel a little tired. I'll just…go and…lie down…for a bit." Whereupon she wandered away and wasn't seen again for four hours.
I'd love to hear your funniest Christmas story. A free download of Gift of the Goddess if you can make me laugh out loud. Two prizes of a full colour oversized postcard of Mr Gorgeous (aka the cover of Gift of the Goddess) for snickers and giggles. He's hot, hot HOT! (And on my website—go see!)
Oh yes! And a postcard to the first nice person who posts a pavlova recipe for our overseas readers. A cook I ain't. But my husband is. *evil grin*
And BTW, because humour relaxes me, I write a free serial about a girl called Alice for my newsletter readers. But I post chapters on my website too. It's funny, but it IS naughty!
Right. Um. I think that's all. Shut up, Denise.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
A huge thanks to everyone who posted (and added to my TBR pile!)
I was going to choose the winner by who introduced me to the most authors I'd never read but it become a bit tough so I did the old 'random out of a hat' thing!
And the winner is....drumroll please....Froggie!
So please send me your contact details at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll forward you a copy of INHERITED: BABY.
Thanks for the party, Nalini.
It has been a blast!
I'd like to wish everyone a safe and merry Christmas, with loads of fabulous reading :)
Hi All and thanks for participating in the competition. Thanks also to Nalini for hosting the party its been so much fun.
And the winners are.....drum roll please....
The first 3 people who posted the answers were -
I had a great response but man, those ladies were quick!!
If anyone's interested the answers are -
Fran's puppy is called Fonzie (named after my own black Labrador).
And Harriet laments that of all the men in all the world she had to marry one that looked like a naughty angel.
Those books are already in the post ladies.
Merry Xmas to everyone. May you all have a happy and healthy festive season and a wonderful New Year.
Thank you so much to Nalini for inviting me to join this blog. I've had a ball. And thank you to everyone who took the time and trouble to comment on my post yesterday. It was such fun dropping in and seeing what people had to say on the eternally fascinating subject of heroes! May all your celebrations be full of heroes (hey, I might patent that one! Do you think Hallmark would be interested?).
It was SOOOOO tough trying to pick a winner. A lot of the posts were really moving, especially the ones about family and loss. And a lot of the posts were really sweet and funny. In the end, though, and after a lot of toing and froing (that looks odd - perhaps going to and fro?), I chose the following winners:
Winner of the ARC of CLAIMING THE COURTESAN:
Winners of the Desk diaries - and because it's Christmas, I'll throw in a cover flat for my book along with a few other bits and pieces:
Little Lamb Lost
Please email your snail mail addresses to Nalini and I'll get your prizes off to you next week, hopefully in plenty of time for Christmas.
Congratulations! And sorry to everyone else. I wish I had prizes for you all! If you want another chance at a copy of CTC, please enter my December contest through my website: www.annacampbell.info
Finally, I'd like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy Holiday season and all the very best in 2007! And lots of good books for all of us. Whoo-hoo!
Friday, December 01, 2006
When Ally was a little girl she made a wish that when she turned twenty-six she would marry an Italian two years older than her. After it actually came true she realised she was onto something with these wish things.
So, next she wished that she could make a living spending her days in her pyjamas, eating M&Ms and drinking scads of coffee while turning her formative experiences of wallowing in teenaged crushes and romantic movies into creating love stories of her own. The fact that she is now able to spend her spare time Googling pictures of handsome guys for research purposes is merely a bonus!
Come along and visit her website at www.allyblake.com
Two years ago my husband and I took a two week trip to
Anna Campbell decided she wanted to be a writer when she was seven years old. If she couldn’t be a writer, she wanted to be a ballet dancer. Luckily for the world of dance, she sold her first book in 2006.
Avon will release CLAIMING THE COURTESAN as a Romantic Treasure in April, 2007. You can find out more at www.annacampbell.info
Would Santa Claus cut it as an alpha romance hero?
Mostly because it’s fun, I’ve been discussing romance heroes lately. Tough work, but somebody has to do it. It’s particularly difficult when visual aids are involved. NOOOO!!! Don’t show me another photo of Hugh Jackman! Hmm, Hugh in only a towel? OK, go on, show me! I can take the pain!
I started to wonder about the man of the moment. Well, 25th December, anyway. Does Mr. Claus cut it as a romance hero?
That red and white wardrobe isn’t up to scratch, especially the naff fur trimming. He’s on the mature side and overweight, and heroes sport a six pack. At least mine do. And that facial hair is a distinct turn-off. Has anyone read a hero with a moustache? A schoolfriend’s German mother once announced that a kiss without a moustache was like bread without butter. Hmm. Jury’s out on that one.
But a leading man needs more than a pretty face and taut abs. An alpha hero is a leader. Santa is that – look at the way he wrangles reindeer. Not to mention getting those elves to produce to deadline in a spirit of goodwill. An alpha hero is faithful to his woman. I’ve never heard a whisper that Santa has looked at anyone but his wife for hundreds of years. Santa has paranormal powers to rival those of any vampire. He’s more generous than the sexiest billionaire adorning his sweetie with diamonds.
So, yes, Santa Claus is an alpha hero. Although he’s not featuring in my dark Regencies any time soon.
Character is what makes a hero, not good looks, although usually good looks come with the package. A hero is a man with heart and courage and integrity, even if he doesn’t immediately recognize those qualities in himself.
Tell me about your favorite hero. The comment I like best wins an advanced review copy of my first book CLAIMING THE COURTESAN. Two runners-up win the Anna Campbell 2007 desk calendar – gorgeous scenes from round the world.
Some were funny, and some were poignant, but they were all very special. Thanks also to Nalini for setting up this X-MAS COME EARLY blog party!
I wish I could give a prize to EVERYONE!!
My winner was chosen in a very scientific manner. I printed out all the posts, and cut out each poster’s name (with my handy-dandy zig-zag scissors, one entry per person) and mixed them up and pulled one out at random.
Congratulations KRIS! You have won a signed copy of THE SEA KING and a special Holiday treat! Please contact Nalini (nalinisinghwrites @ gmail.com) and she’ll get us together!
Thursday, November 30, 2006
When I'm not writing, I'm juggling. Two kids, a husband, part time night duty, volunteer ambulance work, school committees, chooks, dogs, general mummy stuff etc etc. I'm pretty damn good at it too. So if this writing gig doesn't work out, I'm leaving home and joining the circus. Seriously though, I cant remember a time I didn't have some plot or other, some character or other talking in my head. So it was either bow to that or admit to a psychosis and seek treatment. Thankfully, I chose writing :-)
I am truly blessed to be living the life of my dreams.
Hi. First up I'd like to take the opportunity to wish everyone an early Merry Xmas and fervently hope that you are more organised with your Xmas shopping than I am. Too many things to do before the end of the year, including another book - yikes!!! Plus three out of the four of us have December birthdays, so it's a very busy time at my house.
Here in sunny Queensland it's heating up nicely so looks like it'll be another scorcher. Thank god for the air-con. It's the only way to eat turkey and plum pudding in forty degree heat. My entire extended family - aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins are all heading to a resort for three days over Xmas. Wall to wall air-con and a ten acre pool. No washing up and poolside cocktails - my kind of holiday.
So - Christmas come early? Well, it certainly will for me. My book, The Surgeon's Meant-To-Be Bride will hit shelves just before the jolly, fat man visits our houses.This is exciting for lots of reasons, not least of all because of my slightly narcissistic tendency of going into Kmart to just look at my book on the shelf. But mainly because I think this is my favourite of the ten medicals I've written. Why do I say this? Let me see - it was my first book accepted with no rewrites, it's very different in that the whole book covers just twenty-four hours (each chapter an hour of the day), I got to chop off legs and remove spleens and the h and h have sex in the first chapter!!!! Didn't think that would get through at all!!!
Prior to this if anyone asked, I always told them my favourite book was my very first one I ever wrote. Why? God knows it's perfectly awful. No, really, I kid you not. I pulled it out and looked at it not long ago thinking, maybe I could use it? Tweak it, polish it, it couldn't be that bad surely and it's another full MS, right? Wrong!! There is nothing redeemable about it at all. I can't believe I had the audacity to send it in!!! It's really, really bad. But regardless, it will always be up there amongst my favourites because it was the book that proved to me that I could do it. I could write an entire book. The day I wrote "the end" was the day I became a writer. And it's subsequent rejection was what spurred me on my writing journey because there's nothing more motivating than rejection. The day I received the form, thanks-but-no-thanks letter, was the day I became bloody minded. So I have a lot to thank that book for. Every. Single. Tragic. Word.
And Xmas is a time to be thankful and to spread some Xmas cheer. So, ho, ho, ho, I'm giving away 3 two-packs. Three lucky people will score copies of The Surgeons Meant-To-Be Bride and my previous release, Caring For His Child. But, you have to work for it. Yes, yes, mean Santa. Bwah ha ha ha ha ha.
The first three people who go to my website and answer these questions will be the winners. What is the name of Fran's puppy in "Caring For His Child"? In "The Surgeon's Meant-To-Be Bride" Harriet laments that of all the men in all the world she had to marry one that looked like a what? When you know the answer click on the "drop me a line" link on my homepage. When I have the three winners I'll announce it on the blog.
In the interim, I'd love to hear about your favourite book.
Good luck and Merry Xmas to you all.
With so many wonderful comments to chose from, I decided to put your names in a box and …drum roll……the winner of HER MIRACLE BABY is…….gosh the glue on this envelope is sticky…..tugs at it…anyone got a paper knife?
The winner is JOAN who loves “anything to do with the outdoors. From horse back riding to 4 wheeling. I just don't like to work in veg. garden.”
Joan I hope you enjoy Her Miracle Baby and perhaps you’ll be inspired to take a horse ride too. Please email me at email@example.com to claim your prize and tell me your snail mail address.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy festive season.
Sara Hantz is a young adult author based in New Zealand. Her debut novel THE SECOND VIRGINITY OF SUZY GREEN will be published by Flux in September 2007. You can visit Sara here.
Do I Come Here Often?
If that sounds like I’m bemused and bewildered, it’s because I am. You want to try living somewhere where Father Christmas would be more at home wearing shorts and a tee-shirt, and Christmas presents are opened on the beach, under brilliant blue sky and scorching sunshine.
Even though I’ve lived in New Zealand for five years – that’s five Christmases – I still can’t get my head around it. And, having to call Christmas summer (when we all know summer is really in July) is so weird it’s not funny. Is it any wonder I write fish-out-of-water stories… as I’m clearly one myself?
So, as I’ve done a neat link into my writing this is how you can win a prize:
In The Second Virginity of Suzy Green, Suzy’s life is based on one big lie – although she’d say she didn’t really lie because no-one actually asked her outright if she was a virgin…
Tell me the funniest/most inventive lie you’ve ever told and the consequences. The one that makes me laugh most will receive a New Zealand souvenir.
Me, Annie West, Sasha White, Tessa Radley and Annette Blair have all announced the winners of their giveaways. Congrats to the winners!
The posts from
I'll post up the first of today's two posts in a few hours.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Jolie Mathis lives in Texas with her husband and two young children. Her debut novel, THE SEA KING, earned a 4 ½ star review, and Top Pick designation in the August 2006 edition of Romantic Times. You can learn more about her writing at www.joliemathis.com or at her blog, www.joliemathis.blogspot.com
Who among us has not seen THE CHRISTMAS STORY movie and laughed ourselves silly over that surreal encounter with Santa and his elf? What about the frozen flag pole scene? Or the adventures associated with an infamous Red Ryder shot gun? Thankfully as children, most of us weren’t forced to wear that pink bunny suit, and don’t own a leg lamp (“Frah-geeeee-lay”!).
Instead, I remember laying with my brother under the Christmas tree, staring up at through the boughs at the multicolored lights and ornaments, and dreaming about what Santa Claus would bring us. I remember stringing popcorn and cranberry garlands with my mom (and poking my thumb with the needle a million times!). And I remember my dad piling us all in the car on Christmas Eve so we could go see KING KONG at the movie theatre. Unfortunately, he “forgot” his wallet inside the house, so we sat in the car with our mom and waited … and waited … and waited for him to come back out. When he did, he explained that he must have misplaced the wallet, and it took forever to find. Imagine our surprise when we returned from the movies, and discovered Santa had been there …
What are some of your childhood memories of the holidays? A lucky participant will receive a signed copy of my Berkley historical romance, THE SEA KING, along with a fun holiday treat!
Ho Ho Ho!!!
Always an avid reader, Fiona decided to combine her love of romance with her interest in all things medical, so writing medical romance was an obvious choice! She lives in a sea-side town in southern Australia with her own real-life hero and sees herself as the raiser of two potential heroes or at the very least, two domestic Gods.
Fiona's next release is HER MIRACLE BABY (Harlequin Mills and Boon Medical Romance Mid Dec 2006). You can visit Fiona and read an excerpt here.
I had an early Christmas Present this year…a fantastic horse ride in the Australian Alps! Last week the family and I spent a day on horseback riding through some of Australia’s most spectacular mountain scenery. And to fit in with the Christmas feel there was even some snow on the higher peaks after a crazy-out-of-season storm three days before.
Ever seen the Man From Snowy River when Jim and Jessica gallop across the top of a ridge surrounded by rippling, blue mountains? Well, I did that. Not actually gallop but I trotted :-) We had lunch at Craig’s Hut. The façade of this hut was built for the movie and was representative of the horsemen’s huts of the 1900s. A local four-wheel drive club have maintained it and made it into a real hut.
We rode through arches of snow gums, over tufts of emerald green grass..the only green grass in the state due to the drought.. and across rocky terrain above the tree line. And the sun shone from cloudless blue skies.
So why did I want to do a horse ride in the high country? Because this time last year I was researching for my December release, HER MIRACLE BABY. Set in the high country, Will and Meg take a horse ride in winter in the snow. By the time I had talked to the horsemen of the high country and written Will and Meg’s ride, I desperately wanted to go myself!
If you want to live vicariously and enjoy the flavour of the glorious Australian High Country with its towering mountain ash trees, its rugged winter snow-capped peaks and the Southern Cross constellation sparkling in clear starry night, skies then leave a comment to be in with a chance to win a copy of HER MIRACLE BABY.
And the winner is…drumroll…Jennifer Y!
Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org and let me have your postal details.
JENNA, you are the winner of the Draw for a copy of THE COP, so please email me email@example.com to collect your prize.
Well, in the christmas spirit, I picked another winner... LADYVAMPIRE2u also email me to collect a signed copy of THE COP!!
And for every one else, I hope you're having as much fun as I am here. Isn't Nalini great?!
As a girl, I dreamed of being a journalist and travelling the world in search of the next big story. Instead, I chose a career in the health industry while honing my writing skills with a daily entry into a “not-so-secret” journal. I thrived on reading Mills and Boon novels, filling my head with romantic ideals and larger than life heroes.
Luckily, I have had the opportunity to travel the world but my dream to write was never far from my mind. I worked as a physiotherapist for thirteen years before getting tired of saying “I’m going to write a book one day”. I finally took action and started writing in late 2001. Once I started, I couldn’t stop and have completed 25 novels of varying length since!
I currently write for Harlequin Romance and Modern Extra Sensual series and love it.
I live in Melbourne with my gorgeous family. When I’m not writing, I love sharing fine food and wine with friends and family, going to the movies and my favourite, curling up with a good book!
Nicola's Site: www.nicolamarsh.com
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS….
As a kid, the lead-up to Christmas was almost as good as the thrill of the day when you got to ask for loads of cool stuff and wondered what you’d get (I was lucky, I was a bit of a goody-goody so Santa usually delivered!)
These days I pretty much know what I’m going to get. Books! And loads of them! I’ve always been an avid reader so books were usually a good gift choice for me but ever since I started writing most of my family and friends inundate me with gorgeous new books every Christmas and I love it!
This year, I’ve had an early delivery, author copies of my December release, INHERITED: BABY. (I love the holly on the cover!) The book features horse-strapper and single mum Maya Edison doing it tough, trying to raise her baby after her fiancé dies, with a more than capable hero in stockbroker Riley Bourke.
There’s something so very magical about Christmas so I hope you all curl up with a good book this year.
And speaking of good books, what’s on your TBR pile at the moment?
I'm giving away a signed copy of INHERITED: BABY so please share the books you're eager to read with us.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Author Annette Blair took a twenty-year roller-coaster ride to overnight success. Yes, her tenacity is legendary, though some just call her stubborn. Her latest release, THE SCOT, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE is a December 2006 release. www.annetteblair.com
Christmas always comes early at my house—a legacy from my mother. The season is enough. I even like Christmas commercials. But TV Christmas stories are my favorite. I tape and watch every one. I collect Christmas movies: favorites are Meet Me in St. Louis, Miracle on 34th Street—with Dylan McDermott, of course—the Bishop’s Wife, The Gift of Love, and Love Actually. I collect Christmas romance novels to re-read yearly at Christmas, especially Mary Balogh’s Playing House. I got my first job at Christmas in a department store as a salesgirl in the toy department. I loved it.
I even started my family at Christmas—December 13th—and beneath our tree that year was a cradle with our baby girl in it. Can you think of a better gift? When she was five, at a Christmas service, she whispered, "This is it! The Christmas Spirit. It's here!"
Over the years, Christmas included delivering food baskets and toys to the needy, which taught me to appreciate my gifts all year round. Writing is a gift for which I am daily grateful. Who knew I’d end up writing about Witches? What fun! This season, whatever holiday you celebrate, let me wish you the best of the best, kisses beneath the mistletoe, a snuggle by the fire, joy the year round, a life of happy endings, and long hours of reading pleasure.
Blessed Be! Happy Holidays! Merry Merry!
I'm giving away a signed copy of my December release, The Scot, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, with a pair of lucky witch socks, the kind I wear when I write.
Tell me what celebrities you think would make the best looking heroes, to be in to win!
There have been so many great posts from so many people, all with the Christmas theme, that it was impossible to choose one winner. In the end I decided to give two signed copies of 'A Mistress for the Taking'. One was chosen at random and the other because the post made me think so much of the joys of Christmas (as did many of the posts). The winners are:
If they'd like to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with their postal addresses I'll ensure their books are sent this week (hopefully in time for Christmas).
And I'd like to say THANK YOU to the many contributors who passed on their congratulations on my first book, and who also got into the Christmas spirit so early. It was wonderful reading all the posts.
Thanks everyone for playing and without further ado, here's the winner of my giveaway (picked via a random number generator):
Email me (nalinisinghwrites @ gmail.com) and we'll sort out the details. All the other prizes are still up for grabs so comment away! Also there's another guest author coming up later today.
Tessa Radley is still thrilled to bits by her first sale to Silhouette Desire earlier this year. The sale of Black Widow Bride followed an online editor pitch on eHarlequin.com. Tessa’s second book Rich Man’s Revenge will be out in June 2007. Right now Tessa is working on getting a website up in time for Christmas—it’s her Christmas prezzie to herself. Come visit www.tessaradley.com in late December.
Bearing Gifts They Travel So Far…
I love all the ritual and ceremony that goes with Christmas. The red pohutukawa trees that signal Christmas is coming. The lighting of the Christmas lights in the village. The snow cave guarded by Santa down the road. Christmas carols in the Park.
But the one Christmas ritual that is totally beyond me is shopping. I loathe and detest shopping at the best of times. Doing grocery shopping is something I trade with my dearly beloved where I can (If I scrub the toilets pleeeez will you do the grocery shop…?) But the event of e-shopping has me perking up. Tiffany's looks good—although frankly that's a little beyond my budget.
So what to give without killing the budget? A beautiful card? Sometimes that's all you need.
Chocolates? Yum! My heroine in Black Widow Bride (Sil Desire April 2007) owns a chocolate boutique and ships hand-made chocolates everywhere. Chocolates have to be a winner.
More gift ideas to share this Christmas…
1. A Starbucks gift card. Who can resist coffee?
2. My cousin always sends a Christmas ornament each Christmas. Each year when we put up our tree we think of her. Order personalized ornaments online at Wal-Mart
3. Being a third-world child I have to include the gift of planting 20 trees or providing 100 meals to 100 under-privileged kids for under $20
4. And don't forget books! Give someone the chance to buy dying-to-read books with a gift card to your favorite bookstore.
5. And from here came the idea of a Sephora gift card available in denominations of $25 with lots to choose from under $25
Share your gift suggestion. I will draw a random winner from those who comment and send a sensual shower pack to pamper yourself with this Christmas.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Gifted with a salacious imagination, Canadian author Sasha White enjoys working in multiple genres', and various story lengths. With a voice that is called “distinctive and delicious” by The Romance Studio, Sasha has over a dozen erotic short stories published in various anthologies, her novellas in Kensington’s Pure Sex and The Cop anthologies have gotten rave reviews, and her first single title novel with Berkley Heat, Bound, has been called “the best sort of erotica for an erotic romance fan" by Sex, Sizzle and Snark Reviewer Jaynie R.
If you're attending the Romantic Times Convention in 2007, Sasha will be giving a workshop on Bad Girl Heroines - and how to make your readers love them, with her buddy, Vivi Anna.
Sasha loves to chat with readers and can be found on her websites’s blog most afternoons. www.sashawhite.net
IS BAD BETTER?
Bad Boys are a favorite type of hero among romance readers. And we all know why. We want to be "the one" to tame them with love.
But what about a favorite type of heroine? Personally, I love reading stories about quirky free spirited and independent heroines. You know the kind. The ones that laugh at themselves and make you laugh at the same time. Sometimes clumsy, sometimes too smart for their own good...always cute and sassy.
Normally when I write, I like to write Bad Girls. The ones who can kick ass and take names. IN my newest release, SEX AS A WEAPON, the heroine is a thief. And the hero is the cop on the hunt for her. It's too much fun to write about women who live by their own rules, and Vanessa was no different. While I do write erotica with no traditional Happily Ever After, SEX AS A WEAPON is a romance, and does have a HEA. Aren't you curious how a cop and a thief find their way?
Then there’s BOUND and my “good girl” heroine. Yup, I did it, I wrote a good girl...yet even my good girl has a yen for high stakes Texas Hold’em and wet t-shirt contests.
It’s just too much fun to have my heroines do the things I’m not brave enough to do.
So, what do you like best? A bad girl or a good girl? Does it depend on your mood? Or on the author and how the story is told?
Tell me your preference in the comments here for a chance to win a signed copy of THE COP.