Sunday, August 31, 2008
Everyone in the path of the brute that Gustav has turned into is in my thoughtd. I hope that the next few days pass off as peacefully as can be and with as little damage and destruction as possible. I have reader friends in New Orleans and you will be specially in my thoughts.
And Linda - if Gustav damages your second copy of the 12 Point Guide again - I will make sure you get a replacement!
Heat - sadly, not here. Today has had the sort of torrential rain that has me thinking of building an ark, just in case.
No - the Heat in question is the Modern Heat line of romances.
As you may know, over on the I heart Presents blog, HMB have announced a writing contest for aspiring authors aiming at the Modern Heat line.
Because the Modern Heat books are published as Harlequin Presents in America, there has been quite a lot of discussion about why a 'MH' book is not a Presents and what makes the differences.
Discussion has centred on the type of hero and heroine and the description that editors once gave MH as 'Presents younger sister'.
Personally, I've felt that the descriptions and explanations given haven't really hot the mark in pinpointing just where the difference lies.
The point isn’t an alpha hero both series have that. The MH hero may be younger and perhaps on his way up but he's still alpha.
It isn't in the heroines - I’m not happy at all with the idea that there is a ‘Presents Heroine’ in a way that seems to imply that the Presents Heroine is passive, weak even, and lets the hero take charge, not matter what. the truth is that, as in any form of fiction, every heroine in every book is who she is in her own unique way. Some are milder mannered – some may take on the hero in a more confrontational manner. Some are sassy, some are uptight, some are sexually confident, some are not – some are assertive to the point of aggression – some need to take things in a less confrontational way. That's what makes each story different.
No the difference is that , to coin a phrase – the Modern/Presents book has an 'alpha conflict'. A high octane, fiercely intense conflict. It has a situation in which both the hero and the heroine have so much to lose that they can’t totally focus on anything else. There is so much at stake – outside their relationship and in – that they are driven to intense emotions that are not normally part of every day life – they are in a time of crisis and as people in crisis react they react in extremes.
Irresistible charm and humour are not the exclusive attribute of a MH hero. It’s the situation that the H&h of a Presents novel are in – both of them – that sparks reactions that sometimes don’t give time for charm or humour from either of them. It all depends on the book, the heroine, the hero – but most important of all it depends on the conflict.
And that, for me is where the big difference between an Modern and a Modern Heat story lies. A Modern Heat hero, or a MH heroine could probably be a Modern/Presents hero given the sort of conflict that a Modern/Presents author would put them in ....
As the editors are always saying – it’s all in the execution.
The official rules for the Feel the Heat contest can be found here.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
If you want to get your hands (or your email) on a free copy of Spanish Billionaire Innocent Wife delivered by email then tomorrow is the last day it will be on offer from DailyLit.com to download for free. When September dawns this offer closes - so if you want to take advantage of it, then grab it now.
Finally, the change around from August to September means that the books I have on sale also change - so this weekend is probably your last chance to grab a copy of The Alcolar Family Trilogy in one volume (By Request) - though the trilogy will still be available in the ebook bundle form over on eHarlequin.com - or the special Centenary novella, The Duke's Secret Wife.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
(Note to all winners of prizes in the Tote Bag Contest - your prizes went in the mail yesterday so I hope they reach you soon)
I love notebooks. They always hold such infinite possibilities.
Just think of all the amazing words, the wonderful stories that can be written in those pristine pages. The memories and images recorded for posterity . . .
. . . errr - I don't need any notebooks I have notebooks. I have a practical ring file pad that sits beside my keyboard where I scribble notes to myself as I work so that I dont forget important ideas.
So why do the really important notes - the ones that come in a flash of inspiration and mark points on which the plot of my book, the development of character, the intensity of emotion always end up on the tattiest piece of paper, along with yesterday's shopping list?
<- Like this.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
And when September starts I will have a new book - Bedded By The Greek Billionaire - out in the shops. Knowing the way some shops put the books out early, it might even be out this week.
As you may know, Michelle Reid is a great friend of mine and a favourite author too. It's not often that we have books on the shelves together but this September we do - in the UK at least.
Bedded By The Greek Billionaire and The De Santis Marriage will be published as Mills & Boon Modern Romances. The De Santis Marriage will also be published in Harlequin Presents, and Bedded By the Greek Billionaire will appear in Presents in November.
But we're giving you the chance to win a signed copy of each of these great books
Bedded By The Greek Billionaire and The De Santis Marriage together with a copy of the By Request 3 in 1 volume Her Passionate Italian which contains my A Sicilian Husband and Michelle's The Passion Bargain.
What do you have to do?
Just answer this simple question:
Please put the title Super September Contest in the subject line.
You can enter this contest from both my site and from Michelle's site so that you will have two chances of winning this great prize.
PS. And don't forget that simply by staying on my Newsletter list you are also in the running for the special Newsletter Draws where you don't have to do anything - or answer any questions, just stay right where you are and you never know, Sid the Cat might pick your name in one of the random draws. That's just one of the extra benefits you get for being one of my extra special readers! So why not sign up today and join the Newsletter Group?
So don't forget to get your entries in and make a hardworking cat very happy!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Lois M from New Jersey USA
Alice L from Michigan USA
Run Amongst Thorns by Anna Louise Lucia
Falling for Mr Dark and Dangerous by Donna Alward
Bought For the Frenchman’s Pleasure by Abby Green
Outback Boss, City Bride by Jessica Hart
Stage by Stage by Jan Jones
The Novice Bride by Carol Townend
Congratulations to the winners. And if you didn't win , don't forget that all these great books are still available on Amazon - .com or .co.uk - the M&B site where they often have backlist books if you put in the author's name, - or eharlequin.com where you can find most Harlequin titles either as print or ebooks.
And of course The Alcolar Family Trilogy is still on sale in UK shops in the By Request print edition, or as an ebook bundle on eHarlequin.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Updating my web site (with the help of wonderful Heather from We Write Romance) has made me look forward at what's coming up for me. And as I know that some of you want to know about courses, workshops etc that I'll be running, I thought I'd let you know about some events that are on my calendar for the future.
First of all, there's Guildford Book Festival. This runs from 16 - 25th October.
You can find more details about this weekend in February here. And as this weekend is run by the fabulous Anne and Gerry Hobbs who run the Caerleon Writers' Holidays then this will be a welcoming and fun event as well as a chance to learn more about writing.
And talking of Caerleon - although being in San Francisco this summer was wonderful, bit the Magnet and I were really sad that the dates for RWA and Caerleon clashed and in order to be in SF we had to miss being in Wales.
The Magnet and I will both be teaching a full course (that's 5 one-hour sessions ) at this Writers' Holiday - where I will be teaching Writing Romantic Fiction and The Babe Magnet will be running a brand new course called Writing the Past - this is a course for those wanting to write creatively from the past - biography, historical non-fiction, and fiction. It covers research, writing techniques and writing for publication.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
So far I've had Italian and Portugese editions of The Sicilian's Red-Hot Revenge, a Greek translation of Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride, The Greek Tycoon's Unwilling Wife in German and one of those wonderful books - a Japanese reprint of a 'classic'. This time it's the 2001 book His Miracle Baby - though you'd never have guessed that from the cover.
This special offer runs for the rest of this month and after that I assume the book will go back on sale again.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Important announcement on the closing date for the Tote Bag of Books . . .
Because of the delay in announcing this contest while I was in San Francisco, the closing date has been extended (yes, Dina - you read it right!) and the contest will now end not on August 18th (ie today) on August 23rd.
So you still have time to get your entries in.
Made to be his mistress...
Joaquin Alcolar has a rule—never to keep a mistress for more than twelve months. Cassie knows that her time is nearly up, and to save her pride—and her heart—she decides to jump before she’s pushed.
However, when an accident leaves Joaquin with amnesia, he cannot recall Cassie ending their relationship. And, on doctor’s orders, Cassie can’t tell him the truth.
So is she back where she started—in Joaquin’s bed—until her recovers his memory . . . and the clock starts ticking once more . . ?
The Spaniard's Inconvenient Wife
The convenient solution is to marry her!
Ramon Dario desperately wants the Medrano company. But the deal has a shocking condition - marriage to the notorious Estrella Medrano. Ramon won't be forced into anything, least of all into wedding a scarlet woman!
But Estrella is not what he imagined. Ramon can't get her gorgeous body out of his mind. He even starts to believe she may not deserve her reputation.
A marriage of convenience - and desire - might be a good deal after all...
Bound By Blackmail
He'll make her his mistress for revenge...
Jake Taverner has never wanted a woman as much as he wants Mercedes Alcolar. So when she rejects him in the most painful way, Jake's hurt pride demands the most pleasurable revenge...
...his mistress for a month!
Jake traps Mercedes into a fake engagement as he embarks on his skillful seduction. She'll share his bed for one passionate month. But though he can bind her by blackmail...can he keep her?
Details can be found on the Contest Page of my web site - and if you go there you'll also now find the details of my new Super September Contest that I'm running with my great friend Michelle Reid. I'll tell you more about that later.
Oh - and as a PS - in my role as PHS Columnist, today I'm also posting over on their blog when, writing about a very special Male on Monday, I'm letting you in on just what the Babe Magnet got up to in San Francisco.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Tidy. Sensible. Safe. That's how Maggie Taylor wants things.
Nate Griffith offers a world of pleasure in his strong arms. But the lawman isn't looking for a peaceful retreat - he has a job to do.
It scares Maggie that Nate puts himself in the line of fire every day, and so she tries her hardest to resist him. But even a heart as closed off as Maggie's can't stay immune for long...
The other title I'll tell you about today is one of two great historical novels there are in the Tote Bag this time. And this is another of the books I managed to cajole out of authors who were at the RNA Conference with me this year. Jan Jones was persuaded to part with a couple of copies of Stage by Stage and on the same afternoon I persuaded Carol Townend to hand over a couple of signed copies of The Novice Bride. (I love the cover on this one.)
Innocent bride, conquering husband.
As she is a novice, Lady Cecily of Fulford's knowledge of men is non-existent. But when tragic news bids her home immediately, her only means of escape from the convent is to brazenly offer herself to the enemy . . . as a bride!
With her fate now in the hands of her husband, Sir Adam Wymark, she battles to protect her family. Suspicion and betrayal are rife, yet their convenient marriage offers Cecily much more than comfort in her knight's arms. . .
Wessex weddings - Normans and Saxons, conflict and desire!
Carol's next book out is An Honourable Rogue, out in UK and America in September 2008Don't forget you can find the details of how to win this fantastic collection of books in a Kate Walker tote bag by answering the simple questions in the Alcolar Family Contest on the Contest Page on my web site.
And as the attempt to set blogger to post while I was in SF didn't work and everyone lost a few days, I'm extending the contest time setting the closing date a bit later.
So you now have until September 23rd to enter this great contest and win 8 wonderful books!
Don't forget I will post the prize to anywhere in the world (I must be mad - but I will) Good luck!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
A man does not run among thorns for no reason. Either he is chasing a snake, or a snake is chasing him.
In a crisis moment of her life, Jenny Waring did something exceptional.
Now the authorities want to know how and why she killed three armed men.
Kier McAllister’s job is to break Jenny Waring. He’s asking a lot of questions, and he isn’t asking nicely. But it’s his job to find out why she could take out the bad guys like a seasoned agent.
McAllister’s thinks he’s in control. The balance of power is shifting, however. It isn’t his job to care about how he achieves his goal. Yet Jenny’s accusing eyes are starting to hold for him, and that isn’t good at all. Not when the people he works for aren’t about to leave her alone.
She started out being his job. Will she wind up being his redemption?
Anna's next book, Dangerous Lies also from Medallion Press is out in June 2009
The second book I have to tell you about today is written by Jessica Hart who, like me last year, is currently celebrating her 50th title being published and she's running a special celebration 50 Heroes, 50 heroines, 50 Happy Endings over on her web site. (I'll be guest blogging over there in September). I was also able to there at the Harlequin party in San Francisco when jessica was presented with her gold Harlequin pin to celebrate this special milestone title. Many Congratulations Jessica.
Jessica is also the winner of a RITA - in 2005 her novel Christmas Eve Marriage won this prestigious award for Best Traditional Romance.
The book that Jessica has donated to the Tote Bag of Books is Outback Boss, City Bride and it's part of the Bridegroom Boss duet.
Meredith and Lucy are two sisters as different from each other as they could be. Meredith is sensible and dependable, and doesn’t take risks. Lucy is fun and craves adventure and romance. Throughout their lives they’ve stuck to their family roles – and to each other. Meredith is perfectly happy with her life in London until fate takes her to the Australian outback in search of Lucy. It’s the last place she’s ever wanted to go, and she’s horrified by the conditions until Hal Granger makes her realise that it’s the only place she wants to stay!
So there are two more great books that you can win as part of this fabulous Tote Bag collection.
And don’t forget there will be two signed copies of The Alcolar Family Trilogy as runners’ up prizes.
So what do you have to do?
All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning this great prize is to answer these simple questions —
1. What are the titles of the books in the Alcolar Family collection? (Remember that although the By Request Collection is the Alcolar Family Trilogy, there are in fact four stories in the whole of the collection.)
2. What are the names of the hero and heroine in each of the four books you have listed?
Put your answers in an email and send them to me below.
Make sure you put Alcolar Family Contest in the subject line on the email.
Closing date is August 18th when Sid the Cat will be given the task of choosing the winners as usual.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
More often than not, I have found these friends because I have read their books, enjoyed them and thought that I would love to meet the woman who wrote those stories. This is how it has been with two very special friends in my life.
And of course there is the special Feline Friendship that Anne shares with The Cat himself. Sidney the Cat of Superior Breeding always has a specially warm welcome for his Lady from Across the Pond when she comes to visit. He even sends her emails and she was the receipient of his special Sid Calendar (taken from the pictures I posted on here last year) at Chrismas. She is coming over the pond again in September and Sid is already checking out the bed. He will, if she's good (the she in this case being Flora the Maine Coon) introduce the newest kit on the block to TLATP but only if she realises that he has first call on all the head rubs because Anne knows just the best way to rub a furry head, right behind the ears. The Hecks will also, hopefully make an appearance because it was after all Anne who named them on another visit a couple of years back.
So Happy Happy Birthday Anne
Bedded By The Greek Billionaire and The De Santis Marriage will be published as Mills & Boon Modern Romances next month. And so Michelle and I have got together with a joint Super September contest so that you can win signed copies of each of these great books - together with the July By Request Collection Her Passionate Italian that contains my A Sicilian Husband and Michelle's The Passion Bargain.
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