Friday, November 24, 2006

Christmas Stocking Books & Authors 1

First the good news . The young mother I mentioned yesterday has made noticeable improvement. She’s out of Intensive Care and although still very ill, there is hope. Definitely something to be thankful for.

So now let’s look at one of the authors who has contributed a book to my Christmas Stocking Contest. I'm doing these in the order that the books arrived - so today’s author is Natasha Oakley and her book is Accepting the Boss’s Proposal.

As I’ve already mentioned on here, I read for the UK’s RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme. Every year I receive submissions from the unpublished members of the RNA, to read and critique. Back in 2001 I received a first manuscript from an author who then was called Jennifer Dean . And it was a thrill to read something that had potential. It wasn’t there yet – there was the common problem of not enough emotional punch and other things, but here was a writer who had obviously read her market, and who had an understanding of how writing romance works.

One of the other reasons why I remember this manuscript is that the author was one of the first – and the few – who bothered to write and thank me for doing a critique for her. This doesn’t happen often, and as this was my first year of reading for the NWS , it my first and only letter that year. The next year this author tried again – she was getting so much closer, but at the time she was aiming for writing Modern Romance and her voice didn’t quite seem to fit. She was working with an editor and I was relieved to find that the advice I was giving her matched that from the Richmond office. That year, ‘Jennifer’ (or Natasha as she became) came to the RNA Conference as one of my ‘Virgins’ – first-timers who had never been to a conference before. I remember that she nicknamed me the ‘Mad Woman ‘ for doing too much – as someone with five children and major family commitments, I have to say it was a case of a pot calling a kettle black. She’s been a friend ever since. And not just because she recommends my 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance on her web site and on Amazon.

Sometime after that second NWS submission, it was suggested that Natasha tried for the Romance (then the Tender) line and it was the best possible decision. She’s found her voice, the line she should be writing for and her first book For Our Children’s Sake, an emotional, heart tugging story of babies mixed up at birth and two scarred people finding love again after coming together in a marriage of convenience launched her career brilliantly. It was reviewed on Romance Junkies like this:

Grab a tissue, something to drink and get prepared to be sucked into this
book. Natasha Oakley writes one emotionally charged story that will have you
crying one minute and laughing the next.

The book Natasha has donated to the Christmas Stocking is her September release – Accepting the Boss’s Proposal. And just to whet your appetite, here’s the blurb from the back

From temporary secretary...

Miles Kingsley's lazy smile and glinting blue eyes cause every woman he meets to instantly fall a little bit in love with him. He's always walked effortlessly through life, with his fast car and bachelor lifestyle - until he hires a haphazard new secretary, recently divorced, with two kids ...

... to permanent wife?

He wasn't meant to love her ... or even like her! But Jemima's effervescent charm and wicked sense of humour have him re-evaluating everything. She certainly isn't bedazzled by his usual gifts or flirty one-liners ... So how is Miles going to convince this single mum to accept his very romantic proposal?

Natasha’s next release is a December release - Millionaire Dad: Wife Needed
in Silhouette Romance in America and her UK title, Crowned, An Ordinary Girl will be out in February
If you want to find out more about Natasha check out her web site or her blog She’s had a tough time recently with family illness so why not say Hi and wish her well?

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