Monday, July 30, 2012

RITA comes home...

I was just so thrilled to hear that Sarah Morgan, one of the great stars of the Presents/Modern series of Harlequin Mills and Boon had won the Short Contemporary Rita at Romance Writer of America's National Convention this month for her book, Doukakis's Apprentice

This series is the bestselling of all the romance genre series but this is the first time one of the books has won this great award - the romance industry's equivalent of the Oscar.

A very special moment.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Spot the mistake...

The Last Woman He'd Ever Date makes it to Australia, New Zealand and all point antipodean in August.

Gorgeous cover - the Australians seem to just capture the feel of the book so perfectly - and I'm sharing with the lovely Shirley Jump's One Day to Find a Husband, so it's a double pleasure.

There's just one small mistake. Can you spot it?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Writing news roundup...

Robert McCrum on books (from The Guardian)

Public Lending Right consultation was rigged from the start

Plan to cut PLR office, as part of cull of quangos, reflects government's lack of respect ffor UK writers and illustrators... read more...

Annie West (at the Pink Heart blog)

...the importance of reading

Welcome to my writer's world. My home is being gradually but inexorably taken over by books. Not just books I've read but books I want to read... more...


From the RNA blog...


Things we learned on the Roadtrip to the RNA Conference
By Ruth Long, Denise Deegan, Jane Travers & Sally Clements

From the Harlequin Romance Authors blog...

Welcome to Larkville…

Get ready for the newest continuity series from Harlequin Romance, THE LARKVILLE LEGACY!

A secret  letter…two families changed forever.

Read all about it here!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It's on the Nook!

Distributing my backlist ebooks so that they are available for everyone, on all platforms, seems to take forever. Barnes and Noble and Apple are the slowest to put the books online,  but I checked Barnes and Nobles yesterday and, at last, both Eloping With Emmy and The Beaumont Brides Collection are now available for the Nook.

Meanwhile, back at the new house, I've unpacked and checked the computer - it's all working - and I've ordered a table for the office so that I can get back to work.

And tonight I'm going to meet up with the Bath and Wilts Romantic Novelists' Association chapter. A bit nervous, out on my own, driving to a new destination, but really looking forward to meeting everyone.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Moving Chronicles...

This has been a mad and exhausting week. But we're in our new home and have unpacked enough boxes that we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. (I'm ignoring all boxes marked "books" until we have some new bookshelves!)

We moved in on Tuesday. The lovely men arrived with their huge vehicle at about 11 o'clock and starting shifting furniture, boxes and stuff - I am already regretting not being much more ruthless about getting rid of stuff. They worked like Trojans, bless them (it was nearly 5 when they finished), but it's now apparent that they (or could that be we?) didn't know our left from our right. All my office boxes are in the best beloved's studio, and all his stuff is in my scribbling room.

And we discovered, the hard way, that the door to his room has a dodgy catch. "Shut the door," he said, "I want to see what it looks like." Like the dumb idiot I am, I shut the door. And then we couldn't open it. There we were, on the third floor, without a phone, or a screwdriver, or even a knife, with a heavy firedoor between us and freedom. We looked at the boxes. Did I mention that the guys had put all mine in the best beloved's room? Books, books, books. The BB looked hopefully out of the window, hoping to spot a neighbour to come and rescue us. (They'd already been round to introduce themselves and brought cards to welcome us.)

I ripped open boxes hoping to the find the one with the pen pot that I was sure had a screwdriver in it. Books, books, books, books, books and then, last box, hurrah! the pen pot. But no screwdriver. Pens, pencils, erasers, markers, an emery board (essential kit in every office) and then, lo, in the bottom of the box I found a small pair of scissors that had fallen out of the pot. The blade was deployed and in a bound we were free. But I'm not going anywhere without my phone and a screwdriver in the foreseeable future.

Six days in and we now have a working washing machine (I haven't found the iron yet - and I'm not looking v. hard, although the ironing board keeps attacking me with lethal intent), a dishwasher and a fridge/freezer. Cold milk. Bliss.

We've found the local pub, The Black Horse, which does great grub, a Tesco Express - both within walking distance - and we have a shopping park a mile and a half up the road where we have spent vast quantities of money on white goods (actually they're black, but who's arguing) and DIY essentials, like bathroom mirrors. I left everything - these people took everything. Except the cooker. I really wish they had taken that. Today is buying a new cooker day, so that I can cook and put the new dishwasher to good use.

We also have to move a tall, glass fronted cabinet. We had two places where we could have put it. We chose the wrong one.

We can now see the carpet, have only one box left in the kitchen and some time next week I might even begin to think about my office. No point in unpacking the computer until I have a desk. Any hints of favourites would be welcome. I don't want one of those complicated computer desks, but I do like a keyboard shelf - a table is a little high for me.

Oh, and these gorgeous flowers arrived yesterday from the lovely Kate Hardy. When I see her in September she's going to get a really big hug!

Oh, and my Harlequin Romance, The Last Woman He'd Ever Date was published retail in the US this week. One of my readers had to remind me about that on Twitter!

Monday, July 02, 2012

The Moving Chronicles VII

Whew! Well, the moving out was interesting. Four lovely blokes moving like lightning to get out furniture and belongings into the biggest van I've ever seen - well and van and trailer - on Friday. An excellent drive that evening down to Wiltshire (apart from a tailback around Bristol) and a hotel in the most beautiful of settings, in a manor house that was a gift from Queen Elizabeth I to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.

Saturday was a looking around day, Sunday we took a trip to the American Museum in Bath - we'd been before but it had changed quite a bit; lots more going on. The Lexington Minute Men were mustering in the garden, along with a contingent of British redcoats. The noise of a dozen muskets being fired was deafening; horrifying to think how loud a couple of hundred would be.

Monday was the day when the house sale was due to complete. It could have happened any time from nine o'clock onwards and we sat around waiting to hear from the solicitor that the money had changed hands.

And waited.

And waited.

The cut off point was three-thirty in the afternoon when the banks close for business.

There was a chain of four properties exchanging. The money from our buyers finally arrived at three twenty-five and Amanda, our lovely solicitor, managed to get it to the bank seconds before close of business so the deal was complete.

Desperately stressful for both us and the people we were buying from.

But it's a done deal. Tomorrow we move in. We are now living in Wiltshire.