Sunday, July 30, 2006


Blowing one's own trumpet is not something the British are comfortable with. I'm just posting this as a news item, okay? :)


Friday, July 28, 2006


Publishing News is getting geared up to the Christmas market and today the following appeared --

“For girls growing up in 1950s Britain, Girl was essential reading. Each week there’d be another gripping instalment of “Susan of St Bride’s: Nurse of the Year”; advice column “Mother Tells You How” would provide wise words on how to care for goldfish. The Best of Girl is a fascinating window on this hilariously wholesome bygone age.”

Okay, hands up all those “Medical” authors who were St Bride’s fans! My personal favourite was Belle of the Ballet – it was the unfulfilled ballet dancer in me, I imagine.

I wanted to stand on my "pointes". I wanted a pair of those bright red tap shoes (there’s a secret part of me that still does!), but while I was denied few things, dancing lessons was one of them. It could have been because I was the clumsiest thing on two legs in the entire world. Or maybe my mother was frightened, at a young age, by a man in tights...:)

I can’t quite understand why being “wholesome” should be considered hilarious. I do know that women of “a certain age”, myself among them, will want this wonderfully nostalgic volume in their Christmas stocking. Intelligent husbands will take note!

Thursday, July 27, 2006


I’ve been absent from the blog for a day or two, although you’ll see I have been doing a bit of housework behind the scenes. The talented Ally Blake is doing her best to explain to me how to change the colours. Somehow my brain just won’t co-operate.

I have, finally, succumbed to a zokutou worm and I am finding it an incentive to make the daily word count, one, so that I don’t look idle and two, for the fun of moving it along and seeing the percentage of the book written grow. Unfortunately, since the hero seems to have disappeared from the scene, I fear the sudden increase in input is probably going to find itself it in the cyber trash can very shortly.

I’ve also been out partying and guest blogging at Lucy Monroe’s party for those of us who haven’t made it to the RWA conference this year. Do drop over and visit. There are some fabulous prizes to win.

I did get distracted, too, today, by the arrival of the new look RNA Magazine, ROMANCE MATTERS. It’s now A4 format in full colour and there were loads of pictures from the Summer Party.

I’ve also heard rumours that M&B are going to advertise the new "Romance" line in national magazines this September, including one which will be running a short story competition alongside the promotion. Something to look out for if you’re a budding author. I''ll post more details when I have them.

Finally, my short story, The Cinderella Valentine will be online from August at eHarlequin – a free read to celebrate the launch of the Brides of Bella Lucia mini series.

I’ll post a url as soon as I have one, but if you go to the website on Monday, I’m sure you’re all more than capable of finding it for yourself!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


If writing a book can be described in terms of giving birth, Chapter Three is morning sickness.

I’ve done all the fun stuff (no sniggering at the back!), the research, the world building. I’ve written the back story, dug deep for the angst that will fuel the internal conflict, trolled through Google to find images that fit my characters.

I’ve had the excitement of writing the beginning. Getting the hero and heroine on paper. That first connection. The story starting to unfold.

Then comes Chapter Three.

I don’t know why the awfulness of it always takes me by surprise. It happens every time and in a way it’s inevitable. So much has happened in those first 50-odd pages, but now that first rush of excitement has evaporated. Doubt sets in. Is this rubbish? I send what I’ve written to my birthing partner (otherwise known as my editor), because this is a big project and I want it to be right – but she’s moving house; she’ll get back to me, but not soon enough to talk me through the pain.

Writing the crime novel that I started seven years ago suddenly looks like a much more rewarding prospect (but then I never did get to chapter three). Actually, forget writing anything. What I need is displacement activity. I print a photograph of Hugh Jackman. I make an appointment to have my hair cut. I discover a sociability that utterly deserts me when the writing it going well. Even cutting the lawn becomes a deeply appealing occupation. I write a post for my blog. (I deleted all games from my work computer the day I brought it home – I learned that one the hard way!)

When I’ve wasted an entire week, I try reminding myself how it was when I wrote The Marriage Miracle. That I started in the wrong place. Had at least three attempts at getting Matty and Sebastian on the page together before it fell into place. (I always try something complicated first and have to hone it down to perfect simplicity.) As a tactic it’s useless. It’s the childbirth thing, again. The minute my editor calls to say the book has been scheduled, I forget the pain.

I even know – in theory – what the problem is. It’s the end of the beginning. My character has made life changing decisions. Taken the first steps. Now it’s time to move forward. But, like Belle Davenport, I’m not finding it as easy as I’d hoped.

Monday, July 17, 2006


I started writing at the crack of dawn this morning to avoid the heat. Apparently it’s going to be in the mid-thirties this week. Just the thought of that makes me want to lie down in a darkened room and not move until it rains.

Ungrateful? Probably. We don’t get this kind of undiluted sunshine often, but I have an end of August deadline and I’m still only on chapter three. Lazy afternoons in the shade with a book (not my own) are not an option. Not if I’m going to get to Italy (purely for research purposes, you’ll understand) in September. And, talking of Italy, for those of you lucky enough to live there, I have a book on sale there this month! I haven’t got my author copies yet, but, as with the Greek, if you are Italian, want to improve your Italian, or know someone Italian who would like a copy, speak up and I’ll reserve a copy for you,

But back to the wip. I have, thanks to Ally Blake pointing me in the right direction on the net, now found some photographs that are about as close as I’m going to get to my hero, the distant and ice-cold Ivo Grenville. His eyes are the wrong colour, but that’s okay. I can live with this picture of Hugh Jackman on my board for the next couple of months (sigh); I’ll imagine him with eyes the colour of the sea.

And for his heroine Belle, well, I have a tear-sheet from a magazine to thank for her; as you can see, she’s a bit of a bombshell babe.

In my head, I’m calling this book The Journey Home. The journey is, in fact, internal and I’ve teamed up with Barbara Hannay in Australia and Jackie Braun in America to write linked stories of three women who are making that journey back in time to a point where each of them made a decision – one that they now regret -- that had a major impact on their lives. Confronting the past will take courage, deeply affecting the lives they have now, the future beyond imagining.

At least, that’s the plan. If the heat doesn’t fry my brain first.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Do you want to see the new covers? Harlequin "Romance" and Mills & Boon "Romance? Here's a look at the covers for THE SHEIKH'S GUARDED HEART, available from next month onlne at the publishers, or retail in September. Despite my initial reservations about the hero not looking quite "sheikhy" enough, I have to admit I do rather like them!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Does anyone here speak Greek?

Know someone who speaks Greek?

Have a Greek friend, relative, neighbour?

Is anyone here learning Greek?

The first person to speak up can have a copy of Her Wish List Bridegroom -- in Greek.

Monday, July 03, 2006


I’m going to have to be extremely careful what kind of animals I introduce into my books in future.

Following Hector, the Trojan Hamster, my dd bought herself the cuddly and very beautiful Rex – okay, she’s a Janet Evanovitch fan, too!

Now, following my latest book -- THE SECRET LIFE OF LADY GABRIELLA, May ‘07 – in which a baby rabbit provides a major plot turning point, she has sent me a picture of Pudding, the latest member of the family. He’s coming to visit later in the month, along with Nigel.

I'll keep you posted!