Saturday, January 30, 2010

Divorce Etiquette Won 1st Place

Divorce Etiquette Book Video won January 2010 Best Trailer! Thanks to all who voted in the You Gotta Read Videos poll for the Best Trailer. 

Thanks for making my Trailer a winner. And thanks also to You Gotta Read Videos for providing such a wonderful opportunity for us authors.

Big hugs.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Let's Pretend Has a Cover!

I've got my new book cover for Let's Pretend. As I promised to keep you lovely people updated, here it is.

Isn't it just so pretty?

Does the cover make you want to know more?

Okay, because you asked so nicely, here you are...


True love needs no pretence

When A&E trauma surgeon, Dr. Isobel Murphy, married sexy Irish firefighter, Lucas Delaney, she knew it was going to be forever. Unfortunately, she didn’t realise forever would only last five short years.

Keeping her failed marriage from her family seems like a piece of cake, until her grandmother calls a family gathering and Belle suspects she’s about to announce a critical illness. Making excuses for Luc’s absence, she flies home to Connecticut.

Then delicious Lucas arrives for the three-day get-together and Belle knows things are going to get dicey. Especially since he still has the power to make her heart miss a beat, and her stomach bottom out.

When Belle asks him to pretend they’re still deeply in love, Luc doesn’t have a problem. He sees an opportunity to reclaim the love of his life. And he goes all out to remind Belle how it used to be between them, before long work hours and clashing schedules invaded their marriage.

What he needs to know though, is, once the pretence is over, will Belle be applying for her decree absolute? Or will they be renewing wedding vows?

Do you want a little more?...Huh?



She gave him a sexy smirk and bit the corner of her bottom lip. “I’m not sure if that’s a promise or a threat.”

He couldn’t be sure either. Every male hormone in his body urged him to kiss her good and hard, until she was begging him to make love to her, while the part of his brain responsible for logical thought—the part that wasn’t completely devoid of blood—told him to back off. If Belle hadn’t consumed so much wine, she wouldn’t have allowed things to get this far. And she’d never forgive him if he took advantage of her vulnerability tonight.

“Belle, I doubt you’ll remember doing this tomorrow.”

Her eyelids brushed down to half-mast as her gaze zeroed in on his mouth. She licked her lips in a slow, tormenting glide. “You have the most beautiful lips; do you know that?”

Luc gulped, then chuckled to cover the groan her compliment tore from him. Turning down Belle’s unspoken invitation was going to be harder than the organ in his trousers begging to get out. “Honey, let’s get you tucked into bed. You’ll feel better once you sleep this off.”

With a lethargic smile, she cupped the back of his head just as he started to turn her toward her bed, bringing his mouth to hers. When she pulled away, her dark blue eyes twinkled with mischief. “I know exactly what I’m doing, Luc.”

His good intentions went up in smoke as every part of him came alive. Just for tonight, he’d believe Belle wanted him as much as he longed for her. Just for tonight, he’d pretend everything was all right between them. But when tomorrow came he planned to win the battle for his marriage. Because Luc knew after this weekend, he’d never be able to give her up.

Thanks for dropping by, it's always lovely to see you.

Until next time,
Happy reading.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What Goes Into a First Chapter

You've just written The End.

You fold your arms across your chest with a self-satisfied smile. After months of hard graft, you've finally finished your WIP. You may let it sit for a couple of weeks, or you may only leave it a couple of days before reading through the MS with fresh eyes. Either way, you'll soon have that baby out in the marketplace as you aim to find it a home.

So, that's done. You now need to start the book that has shamelessly courted your imagination while you were trying to write the last book. You know the one I mean--the little rascal that woke you at three in the morning whining, "Write me! Write me! Tell my story!"

You've been taking notes on scene ideas, snappy dialogue, plot points; you've gotten to know your characters etc (known as prewriting). Now it's time to write, but...hang on a minute...what goes into the first chapter, again?

Never fear, I'm here to help with a quick break-down of the essentials!

The first thing you need to do is come up with a fantastic opening line. A powerful hook to draw the reader into your story. Something that will immediately spark her curiosity. Get your Hero and or heroine on scene ASAP!

Make sure your heroine is likable--no one likes a snark or a dishrag--that she has a solid goal, strong motivation to achieve her goal, and real internal conflict preventing her from achieving that goal. She must have layers to her personality--space to learn and grow. (Known as character arc or development)

Your hero must be strong--not nasty to the heroine--he must be a man your reader can fall in love with. He must have a solid goal of his own, strong motivation to achieve his goal, and internal conflict, which prevents him from attaining his goal. Like the heroine, your hero must have layers to his personality and space to grow.

And this all has to be believable!

You also need external conflict, but remember, if you are writing a romance, the internal conflict MUST drive your story. Internal conflict is what makes a book character-driven (External conflict creates a plot-driven book). For those of you who may not know, Romance Novels are character-driven.

You must let the reader see the attraction between the H/h. A sense of time and place, you don't want her wondering, "so where or when is this taking place?" for a whole chapter. Be careful of dumping too much information on the reader, let her get to know your characters gently with snippets of back-story. This will also keep her curious.

And don't forget to end the chapter with a great hook.

To recount:

Your Hero and heroine should meet pretty quickly after the opening of your story. In romance novels, usually the external conflict throws them together. By the end of the chapter, the reader should know who your H/h are (characterization), What (Goal) they want, Why (Motivation) they want it, and what’s Stopping (Conflict) them from getting it.

The reader should not be in any doubt of the attraction between your H/h and she should be dying to know what happens next. How are these two going to surmount their problems by the end of the book to live HEA?

Until next time, happy writing.

And, as always, God bless.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Book Contract

Have you ever noticed how good intentions go to pot before the ink even dries on the paper? I had serious intentions of regular blogging, but somehow one week blended into another and I never seemed to find the time to blog.

Anyway, I do apologise for the sporadic effort. Must try harder, right? lol.

I have two bits of news I'd like to share. One is I finally managed to send off my requested complete MS to HM&B--yay! Will let you know the outcome. And my second piece of news is I've just been offered a contract from The Wild Rose Press for Let's Pretend, one of my Novellas (still waiting to hear the outcome for More Than a Playboy). I will of course keep you posted on further news--the cover, release dates etc.

Yes I'm excited, but at the same time I'm having a bit of a confusing time. Do I target my next two romances at HM&B or do I write them for TWRP.

Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Divorce Etiquette and the Hessayon Award

Divorce Etiquette has been entered for the Joan Hessayon NWS Award through the Romantic Novelists' Association. Pretty cool, I think. I haven't got many details yet, but will be sure to keep you posted!

The winner will be announced at the 2010 Summer Party on the 13th of May. I'm claiming favour, since this is my firstborn's 21st birthday. Might drag her along with me for moral support--not because I'm too cheap to throw her a 21st Birthday Bash!  

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Little Update on Megyn

Since I promised to keep you up to date on Meg, I thought I'd pop up a small post on her progress. She is doing very well, praise God. The last test results were a DNA level test to check her risk factor (what are the chances of her relapsing). She is low risk, but the test was to check to see if she is undoubtedly low risk. There is a marker the lab looks for which will tell them this. Unfortunately, they couldn't find this marker in Meg's bone marrow. Apparently this doesn't mean it isn't there only that they didn't find it. Therefore they have put her at indeterminate low risk. She will have to go through two further intense batches of treatment instead of one.

If I'm honest, I'm not looking forward to this. At the moment she is fighting and doing well. The intense blocks are not nice and I hate that her little body will be pummeled not once but twice. I don't think I'll ever get to a point when I don't suddenly find myself crying for her. But she is strong and such a lovely, giggly girl. She just gets on with it.

Such a blessed child.

Until next time,
God bless you all x