Thus yesterday looked like this: 5. Roll out of bed, stumble to computer, scan emails, write words on Rom Com. Shower, rouse the troups, brekkie, make school lunch, peak hour drive to school. Indulge stressed self in favourite brekkie at fave cafe, shop for 2 hours for birthday presents, grab a Max Brenner Italian milk hot chocolate to go. Warm up PC to start work when toddler naps. See email from editor, requesting urgent tweaks.
Swoon, have mini panic attack before printing out email and knuckling down. Toddler naps. I work for an hour before falling into bed for more 'plotting' time see yesterday's post. Rise and shine, get cracking for next school run. Boys playing at my feet, I speed write short story for as long as they let me. Dinner rush starts. Cook, eat, clean, make hubby's lunch for tomorrow, bath time, read books. Start work, tweaks on last book, 60 pages in, eyes closing I'll need to follow this diary for the next week.
Nothing like 3 short deadlines to get the creative juices flowing! Wednesday, October 14, When opportunity knocks. I could've put this post under the 'Write Whisper' series for maintaining a current, professional website Was checking inbox at 6am yesterday when a very interesting email lobbed in, from an editor asking if I'd be interested in contributing to this. Considering I'd be included among award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors for this short story anthology, you bet I was interested! Tuesday, September 29, Resolving issues.
Truths are being revealed. Plans are being made. The black moment is upon Harrison and Khushi. Khushi can't leave India. Harrison must return to Australia. I wonder what happens next Topics: One Indian Summer , online read. Monday, September 28, Don't be an ostrich. October is Breast Cancer month in Australia. Rather timely considering what I've just been through. Yes, I had a rough week, with an odd, tender spot in right breast. As soon as I felt it, I worried for a few days before making a doctor's appointment.
She immediately sent me for an ultrasound, which I had on the weekend. The young guy who did it asked me how often I did breast checks, then tried to scare me by mentioning I was having the ultrasound to check for cancer. Well duh! Though he hummed and ahhed a bit, I got the general gist that everything was okay. Have no idea what the problem is, but it isn't anything 'nasty. Made me think of all those women who aren't so lucky. I, for one, will be more vigilant in checking from now on. So ladies, please, please do regular breast checks.
Better to catch something early. For more information, visit here. Topics: breast cancer , national breast cancer foundation , pink ribbon. Another interesting tip while revising your manuscript: switching point of view can make all the difference. Amazing how powerful it can still remain with just a few tweaks, adding new dialogue, changing things around a bit.
So before you cut that scene you love completely, see if it works in an alternate POV. You may be surprised with the results. Wednesday, September 23, New cover. I love getting a first glimpse of my covers. Britt is spot on with the red hair, Italian Nick is sexy, and the room is perfect the French Suite in Nick's hotel which features prominently in several scenes!
Operation: Family American Romance mini series
Nice, huh? Tuesday, September 22, Slashing scenes. When I first wrote Starr and Callum, I had such a clear idea of who the heroine was. Fun, flirty, sassy, resilient. Yet there's a scene where she stops a scintillating kiss from Callum. I need her to do it yet it doesn't fit in with her character. This is just one of the dilemmas facing me as I tweak this Modern Heat.
I'm a third of the way there. Have slashed scenes which always kills me! Aiming to have this done by the end of the week Friday, September 18, Areas to concentrate on. While tweaking Starr and Callum's story, here are the 3 main areas my editor wants me to focus on: 1. Characterisation and emotional conflicts so the reader can follow their motivations and behaviour every step of the way. Reworking the plot so that it showcases their personalities in the most exciting, pacy, intense way possible.
Upping the sensuality levels-steam up the page at every opportunity. I posted these because it's amazing how as a writer, you may think you have everything covered, yet all it takes is one, small change in Callum's instance, changing who died in his past and his role in their death and the rest of the book needs an overhaul. I revised 4 chapters last night, nothing major. The nitty-gritty stuff is about to start. Changing his motivation has changed quite a bit. And that sensuality stuff?
The SEAL's Christmas Twins by Laura Marie Altom
They've been too good, keeping their hands off each other. All about to change Thursday, September 17, Half way. Interesting comments in the discussion thread, where readers don't know where it's going. Guess what? Neither do I! I'm reading weekly along with everyone else. Yes, I wrote the thing, so I do know where it's going to finish but as to each chapter, I'm resisting the urge to re-read the rest on my PC and am waiting along with everyone for the next weekly installment.
Willpower, huh? I'm dying to give people hints but am keeping my lips firmly zipped. Though there's a favourite scene coming up when Harrison takes Khushi to Tuesday, September 15, I'm so not here! I managed to spend more hours out of bed than in yesterday, so it's an improvement on the weekend. But head still stuffy, body still hurts, chest rattling with awful cough and no appetite. Have lost 1kg, so not all bad. But can think of more pleasant ways to do it I did write some words yesterday on Alphie. Some, not a lot, but the ideas are flowing. Now have more revisions for Starr and Callum's story too.
Throw in 6 family birthdays. Weekends away. I refuse to get stressed. Challenge is good, right?
A Rancher's Redemption
Monday, September 14, Knocked for a six. Been a while since I've been this sick. In fact, can't remember the last time! If I pick up the kids' bugs, it's usually the odd cough or cold, because I don't have time to be sick! This weekend, I was knocked for a six. Yesterday, rarely made it out of bed, the whole day! Even my eyeballs hurt! Throw in a toddler with croup again! This is why a wise writing buddy, Fiona Lowe , always recommends building in extra time for meeting deadlines.
You never know what's around the corner. With my stagnant word count, tight deadline and still throbbing head, wish I'd listened Saturday, September 12, Feel-good reviews. Nicola Marsh has not only crafted a spellbinding tale of taking chances, new beginnings and breathtaking romance, but she has also managed to meticulously recreate the sights and sounds of India so well, that I felt as if I was right there with Ethan and Tamara, surrounded by the exotic beauty of this magnificent country. Warm-hearted, engrossing and deliciously romantic, A Trip with the Tycoon is another feel-good smash hit by the fabulous Nicola Marsh!
A Trip with the Tycoon is absolutely wonderful! It's fresh, witty, sassy and feel-good, but also poignant, tender and moving. Nicola Marsh never fails to make me care and emphatize with her characters and in A Trip with the Tycoon, she has created a wonderful heroine and an absolutely gorgeous hero! Set against the majestic Indian landscape and full of charm, pathos and romance, A Trip with the Tycoon will delight and enchant readers everywhere! Tuesday, September 08, On shelves now! The time has arrived for my double release in the USA! If a trip to India isn't exciting enough, a South Pacific cruise with a very sexy sailor should ramp things up a bit!
Saturday, September 05, Another Waldenbooks bestseller! Here's a snippet: He tapped the stack on his desk, beckoned her over. Then why did it feel like the Big Bad Wolf lending Red a hand before gobbling her up? He stilled her hand by placing his on top, setting her pulse racing as she stifled the urge to yank hers away. Anything else and she was as poised as a toddler on ice-skates. His grin had tension strumming her taut muscles.
Easier than admitting she was lousy socially. Used to getting your own way. Wednesday, September 02, September translations. Topics: Germany , Holland , translations. Saturday, August 29, When ignorance is bliss. Bad reviews. We've all read them for other books and cringed. We've all had them as authors and just ignored them. Many prolific, fabulous authors have advised me their books that tanked in reviews usually topped sales, some even winning RITAs!
But bad reviews still suck. Especially when you think it's the best book you've ever written and the book has received rave reviews from everyone else who's read it. Interesting how one person's POV can be so different from everyone else. I look for the positive, in everything. So here's the snippet I'm going to use from a prolific site's review: "I was interested in some of the sites Tamara and Ethan visited in India, and the descriptions of Indian food made my mouth water. The Palace on Wheels, the luxury train they took through India, fascinated me. Ignore them? Print and tear? Please share :.
Topics: review. Thursday, August 20, Another Top 10 book! Friday, August 07, New look. Author copies of this arrived in the mail yesterday. I like the 'mainstream' feel to the books and I like this cover. But nowhere does the cover give a real 'feel' for the book. Exotic, mystical India. And yes, the Taj Mahal features in several scenes so seeing it on the cover is like a little preview snapshot. So while this UK pic is lovely, do you think it gives the reader choosing from many books on a shelf in a limited period of time a quick glimpse into the book?
I'm looking forward to hearing reader feedback. And hope sales show a positive response too! I haven't written a category romance synopsis for a while, so dug around in my archives and voila! She has worked her way up at the magazine, eager to prove that she can make a life for herself, without the help of family money. After several enthralling encounters, Kate obtained her story and walked away from the sexy SEAL, berating herself for falling in love with a guy who obviously played the field.
Ten years later, Tyler Jones, 35, re-enters her life. At a charity Man Auction the magazine is sponsoring, Kate sees Tyler standing on the stage and is goaded into bidding by her colleagues, suddenly eager to dispel her stodgy and work-focussed image. Unfortunately, she is the one and only bidder.
As the gavel falls, she has acquired a male slave for one week and he happens to be the last man on earth she would want to spend time with. At the conclusion of the auction Kate is handcuffed to Tyler, who later teases her into removing the key from his pocket.
She refuses, denying their previous attraction and he reawakens her memory with a scorching kiss. This sets the tone for a dynamic week together. Tyler has donated one week of his annual leave to raise money for his favourite cause. The Ramirez Orphanage, his home during childhood, is low on funds and may close. Kate soon discovers that acquiring Tyler as a slave is set to rock her world all over again. Sparks fly whenever they are within two feet of each other, soon leading to fiery combustion, with Tyler reneging on the deal. However, Kate swallows her pride and convinces him otherwise, as she needs him to secure a promotion.
He wants to capitalise on it in a feature on his senior editor with the SEAL. Kate is unaware that Tyler is an orphan and falsely believes his interest in the orphanage revolves around Maria Ramone, the beautiful woman who runs it. Tyler grew up with Maria in the orphanage and sees her as a sister. He is guilt-ridden at not following through on his childhood promise to get her out of the orphanage.
If he can raise the profile of the orphanage, Maria may have a chance to leave it behind and make a life for herself, just as he has done. Kate is jealous and advises him that the orphanage story would be unsuitable for the magazine. However, with the promise of the ultimate promotion, Kate needs Tyler to participate in her feature article, so she runs the articles on the orphanage in exchange for his co-operation, a win-win situation for both. However, she omits to tell him the real reason behind her feature article and ultimately, threatens their future happiness.
Kate and Tyler complicate this simple arrangement with an irresistible sexual attraction that soon develops into a sizzling physical relationship. After all, she knows Tyler is a man with similar expectations: independent, living for the moment, able to walk away at the end. Tyler believes the rich princess from Beverley Hills is slumming it for a while with the orphan from downtown L. No harm done, when the mind-blowing sex is everything he imagined Neither are prepared for their emerging feelings, the yearning for love and stability which was not present in their respective childhoods.
At the thought of losing Tyler, Kate is prepared to take a chance. However, before she can profess her love for him, he discovers the truth about her promotion and the price he paid to secure it. He feels used, betrayed and abandoned, just like his childhood. The woman he has taken a chance on and grown to love has deceived him. Rather than discussing his possible re-assignment to Puerto Rico with her, he flings it in her face, wanting to hurt her as much as she has hurt him. Kate is convinced that the SEAL she loves will never change and is devastated in the process.
In a hurry to leave the orphanage, where their final confrontation has occurred, she bumps into Maria, who sets the record straight. Kate knows her only chance to convince Tyler of her love is to prove that her job and lifestyle are not the most important things in her life.
She arrives on his doorstep with her suitcase, ready to follow him to the ends of the earth if needed. Tyler is convinced that Kate is the woman for him. He professes his love and their relationship is secured. Though the handcuffs are removed in their initial encounter, they are now bound by the welcoming shackles of love Now, comparing the synopsis to the proposal I posted last weekend, you'll see the key differences.
I know which I prefer: the proposal is quick, to the point, an outline of the book at a glance. Wednesday, August 05, More good news for my Tycoon. It reads like a breeze and is the ideal romantic tale for any armchair traveler While I have never read a book by Nicola Marsh that I didn't enjoy, I have to admit that I enjoyed this one more than the others. Because experiencing India on the "Palace on Wheels" with Tamara and Ethan was so vivid and enchanting, I felt as if I was actually along for the ride.
India's sights, sounds, aromas, and foods all come alive on the pages, making this romance an absolute delight. Well done! Also, to round off a day of good news, the new UK cover featured in an article for the UK's 'Campaign' here. I think I'm seriously in love with this book :. Tuesday, August 04, August already? Seems like I just blinked after Christmas and here we are. August promises to be an exciting month! I may not be attending the RWAus conference in Brisbane this year have had loads of people ask me!
Click on the titles, you'll go straight to the respective pages. Both have 'special offer' tags, the price is a steal! Before I dash off for the day, a quick adjunct to my weekend post on proposals. I wouldn't call what I posted a synopsis. I'll try and scrounge up one of mine and post it here so you can see the difference. Yes, published authors can get away with stuff like the proposal I use.
In fact, I'd love to hear what other authors use to sway their editors to let them write the book they really, really want to write! Topics: new releases , synopsis. However, this Valentine's Day promises to give her a shake up she never anticipated. She tries to locate Blane to serve divorce papers but soon tires after a year of not being able to find him. Through her failed marriage she has become a cynic where romance is concerned and has a particular dislike of Valentine's Day in all its commercial kitsch.
This year, she has worked hard the entire day and is tired of seeing all the lovey-dovey couples, reminding her of what she once had all too briefly. All she wants to do is head home to her apartment and eat chocolate when in walks a builder, a scruffy handsome guy, who happens to be her husband! Blane is a man on a mission: to win back his wife. He fell head over heels for Camryn when they first met but believes he was selfish in marrying her a fact reinforced to him by her parents. Also, the more they got to know one another, he wondered if she really loved him or was he her escape route out of Rainbow Creek, a way to rebel against her parents?
Sure, they had passion but was it the young, intense love that inevitably changes with time? Now, Blane is CEO of his own construction company. What if she opens her heart to this wonderful, amazing man second time around and he leaves her again? Blane wants to woo his wife, to show her how good they could be together given half a chance.
He has dreams of them being a couple, a family, with kids in their future. Camryn has had problems with pelvic inflammatory disease over the last few years and is unsure whether she can conceive or not. The docs advised her it would be difficult.
But Camryn sees how he is with his nieces and nephews, she sees how much he loves kids and she returns the favour he gave her all those years earlier he has told her why he left : she will set him free to follow his dream, of kids and a family with someone who can give him that. Taking a risk on love again. She loved Blane and he left her. He has been honest in why he left first time around and seems genuine now but can she trust him not to leave again? While his motives for leaving Camryn six years earlier were genuine, he has regretted it since.
When he discovers she has followed her dreams he sets about reuniting with Camryn. He wants a proper marriage. He wants the whole package. But can he convince her to take another chance on him? Camryn is cynical, career-focussed, content yet vulnerable…to Blane. Blane is confident, laid-back, protective and romantic. Camryn is reluctant to take a chance on marriage again. Blane wants his wife back. This is a snapshot of what I give my editor for every book: a basic outline of pages, based on the heroine, the hero, the storyline, the conflict and the setting. Every author has a unique way of presenting a proposal, and what I've posted here isn't necessarily 'the' way to do it, it's one way of doing it.
It works for me. Do what works for you. Wednesday, July 29, Romantic Times double! I'm stoked! Both my September releases have done well with stellar reviews from Romantic Times. It's supposed to be a solo journey, but restaurateur Ethan Brooks, a friend of Tamara's late husband, decides to go along, allegedly on business. Ethan's wanted Tamara for years, and now that she's free, he's determined to win her. But Tamara's still nursing wounds inflicted by her verbally abusive and unfaithful husband Sterling characters, an exotic setting and crackling sexual tension make for a great read.
The realistically paced romance is also refreshing. Shipping tycoon Zac McCoy, who's undercover as the PR director, is on board to catch a culprit who's been causing trouble on different trips. But it's Lana who catches his eye. When the flirting starts, Lana throws caution to the wind. After all, what could happen in two weeks? This fun and flirty shipboard romance features an entertaining twosome who will charm readers. Tuesday, July 28, Hot in Germany. I love discovering foreign translations of my books, especially when they arrive in the mail.
Set on a Whitsunday island, I thought the cover was perfect! And I'm featured here. Wish I could read it! Topics: Germany , Hot Nights with a Playboy. These days, there are so many resources available for writers, it can be confusing. Lately, I've been doing a glut of online courses my personal favourite for learning new techniques There are loads of fancy software programs out there Writersblock, Powerstructure are examples but what got me really interested was the use of spreadsheets.
Some people use them religiously for every book, plotting anything from word count per chapter, who appears in that chapter, to precise details like weapons used, animals, supporting characters, time, day, season, etc Some use them as a rough plotting device while some use them while writing, filling in as they write the book eg.
For a mainstream book, I think I could be tempted, keeping track of all those extra characters and places and events Wednesday, July 08, Calling all unpublished writers! Harlequin Mills and Boon have just launched a new writing competition. Details below. Good luck! Do you feel you have a passionate story to tell, with characters that leap off the page, and emotional conflicts, drama and excitement that will keep the reader turning the pages?
Then we have the perfect competition for you! For those of you who are familiar with our previous contests Instant Seduction and Feel the Heat, you will know that we have had a high calibre of entries in the past. But the successes do not stop there! Earlier this year, we were thrilled to buy another talented new author, Tina Duncan, who first caught our eye when she entered the Instant Seduction competition in The competition will be supported by blogs on I Heart Presents by previous winners, authors and editors.
Topics: Harlequin Mills and Boon , writing competition. Thursday, July 02, Ooh la la! Aren't those covers something? Thursday, June 18, Pleasure in Germany. I love receiving translations of my books in the mail apparently Princess Australia is out in Manga too, so I'm dying to see that!
Wednesday, June 10, Going Dutch. Or you can buy it online here. I still think this is one of my hottest covers ever! And apologies about my website. With the new PC, the web program I use is refusing to cooperate so my updates for June won't load. I'm working on it, hoping to resume normal broadcasting shortly :. At some stage in the not too distant future, I'm going to do a post about hook themes in category romance. Today, I'm talking about hooks of a different nature: how to hook your reader and keep them turning the pages.
Or not as the case may be in my following example. And while I don't find Keifer remotely sexy, there's just something about his sheer dogged alpha-ness with loads of underlying vulnerability that makes him more attractive with each series. In the current series, there has been the usual non stop spills and thrills, with every episode ending on a fabulous hook. It's what I try to do at the end of each chapter: give the reader a reason, a darn good one if you can, to keep turning the pages in the desperate need to discover what happens next.
The writers of 24 are good at doing this and I'm usually left sitting on the edge of my seat at the end of an episode, waiting for the next. Tony, a lifelong friend and co worker for many of the early series, was a baddie at the start of this series, then we discovered he was working undercover with secret organisation of goodies to capture baddies.
We are so entrenched in this belief, as the writers have done a stellar job in showing us through his actions how good he is. At the end of last night's episode, Tony has stolen a bio weapon canister, tried to blow up and kill loads of FBI agents after killing with his bare hands one of the main FBI characters the week before and is standing over Jack, watching him die by depriving him of a treatment.
All this time, because of what the show's writers achieved in entrenching Tony's goodness into me, I keep expecting him to be doing all this to try and get the ultimate baddies. If I wasn't such a fan of the show, it would've lost me, because Tony's abrupt change has me questioning the believability of everything he has done in the show. This information helps us design a better experience for all users.
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