Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Big End Of Year Competition

Yes - it's that time again!!!! Time to wave goodbye to one year and say a big HELLO to a new one...

And, keeping in tradition with the big book giveaway I did at the end of last year, we have this years Big End Of Year Competition where one lucky person can take away signed copies of all of my 2006 UK releases...

So, if I can interest you in a copy of The Wedding Surprise:

"A kiss for the camera...
Desperate to save her Father's business, Caitlin Rourke enters a Reality TV Contest with one thing on her mind - The prize money! To win she has to convince her family and friend's that she's marrying a stranger...
As she gets to know her gorgeous fiancé, Aiden Flynn, she gets increasingly torn between helping her family and keeping her feelings for Aiden a secret. As their wedding day looms and the cameras roll there's another surprise in store for Caitlin...

Along with a copy of the almost famous Pineapple O'Reilly's Bride:

"Sean O’Reilly had become so close to his colleague and friend Maggie Sullivan that he was beginning to imagine their friendship could lead to more.
Only now, bizarrely, she’s backed off – and, even more strangely, she’s started looking for love on the internet! Well, if he can’t beat them, he’ll have to join them…
Maggie can’t let herself get close to Sean. Not now.
Not when she’s discovered something that will break all his dreams of happily-ever-after. But she has no idea of how much she has hurt Sean – nor how much she has just fuelled his determination to make her his… by any means necessary!"

With a copy of my first ever Modern Extra White-Hot!:

"It takes just one sexy fireman to set her ablaze...
Circumstance has left Finn McNeill without a place to stay. Which means her only option is the spare room of friend and firefighter Shane Dwyer. Soon Finn's burning question is: what's worse - living with a rugged fireman who's off limits, or having no home and no rugged fireman at all?
Memories from Finn's past refuse to let her act on her present desire. And Shane has promises to keep that mean Finn is forbidden to him. But how long can they resist temptation when the tension's sizzling, the attraction's simmering, and the flames of passion are licking at their heels? Perhaps one secret, white-hot night will be enough to put out the fire?"

And a copy of my first title for the new Romance Line Project: Parenthood:

"She hid from love, but it found her anyway...
Teagan Delaney has made sure she's too busy for love... too busy to get hurt! But when she has to become stand-in Mum to her sister's tiny kids, and enlists the help of her gorgeous neighbour Brendan McNamara, the rules Teagan has lived by begin to crumble...
Brendan has already proved with ease that he's perfect father material, and as his new found family quickly nestles it's way into his heart he has to show Teagan that they can be the perfect family too..."

Then you have until 31st January to E-Mail me through the website and tell me the full name of the heroine in my July Romance release Bride Of The Emerald Isle

And to all of you who have been so supportive and wonderful to me in 2006 a HUGE THANKYOU - you made my year!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Looking Backwards and Forwards

I'm stuck in that interesting limbo between Christmas and New Years when there's actually very little to do... except think...

Which, with me, if you know me you'll know, can often be a dangerous thing...

But not this year. Last year at this time I was still worrying about my decision to leave a perfectly good Full Time Job to write full time. Had I made the right decision? Would I crash and burn in a few months? Could I really live the lifestyle of a starving artist???

But by the end of 2005 there was light at the end of the tunnel...
The Bridal Bet was nominated for an award, then early in 2006 I sold to the Modern Extra line and later, after the award was won, I landed my first four book contract... and here I am a year later looking back on what was a reclusive, but productive year. And I'm quietly chuffed with the decision I made to quit a job I loved so much. 2006 felt like a turning point. (And I sincerely hope I'm not jinxing myself for 2007 by saying that!!!)

I have to admit at this point that I did have a plan when I left my job. I had to have in order to justify the decision in my head. And so far so good. I did what I planned to do in 2006 and now I get to look forward to 2007 and the plans I made for it - or 'phase two' as I like to call it. Because if there's one thing I have learnt from all the ladies I am lucky enough to have had befriend me this last couple of years, it's that you need to have an idea of where you're headed, of what you want from your writing career.... But saying what I plan aloud is always a tad worrysome for me. It's that whole jinxing thing, the tempting fate thing... the fall flat on my face in public thing...

But I will tell you that in 2007 I plan to travel to as many conferences as possible. So I hope you'll all journey with me as my new laptop, lovely christmas present digital camera and I travel to the RNA conference, the RWA in Dallas and the RWAus in Sydney this year.... I'll personally believe it when I'm there... Just seems too surreal for me as of yet...

Meantime, while I'm resting my brain a little for Christmas before I start the Romance title I have due end of February, I am tweaking my longer book in the hope that I can finish it, polish it, and find a home for it in 2007.... which is also a part of the great Dream Plan...

Who knows what 2007 may bring my way... But I'm crossing everything that won't need a visit to casualty to uncross that it'll be even half as good as the year I'm leaving behind!!!

And on New Years Eve I'll be launching my end of year Competition...!!!! Looking backwards at 2006's releases... and forwards to what 2007 has to bring release wise...

Monday, December 25, 2006


And a HUGE THANKYOU for all your support and encouragement throughout 2006!!!
From me to you - a special E-Card which you can find here:
And as a special treat for all Modern Extra Readers...
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!!!
H's & K's

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mills & Boon Editor Guest Interview

TODAY AND TOMORROW AT THE PINK HEART SOCIETY they have my lovely Mills And Boon Editor JENNY HUTTON in a guest interview!!!!!To read the full interview and to leave a comment just visit HERE

Monday, December 18, 2006

Empty Brain Syndrome

So, I'm pretty much caught up on all the things that had fallen by the wayside while I was buried in the cave this time...

I have clean laundry, almost a clean house, everything swapped from dying comp onto brand new shiny comp, lots of christmas shopping done (only two pressies to go so yay me!), I have done a small update to the website (see the end of the post) and have been playing horse this last couple of days so almost have them knocked back into shape enough to take them out in public... And all that's great. Then my lovely Editor sent me an email looking for vague outlines for the next Romance line book (which thankfully has been put back to the end of Feb rather than the beginning)...
Now - that's nothing out of the ordinary. And I've known I had another idea to come up with. So I was prepared. Thing is - I would appear to be having a small problem with empty-brain syndrome...
Normally I have at least a couple of ideas bubbling away there under the surface. Well, at least a couple. And thankfully over the years any time I've had an idea while working on something else I have always opened a Word file and knocked something vague out that I can go back to when I need to. But this time, once I knew the last *tough one to write* was done and dusted, when I tried to flick that switch in my head back from Modern Extra to Romance... I found the Romance ideas room completely empty and not a little on the echo-ey side...
I've always known, from day one, that my *voice* was *on the cusp* so to speak. But I think after nine books for the Romance line I've kinda found my way. My first Modern Extra was done blind - cos the line wasn't out for me to read yet - my second was a JOY and my third... well... you all know the story with that one... But somehow every time I've tried to jump start my brain this time the stories have been see-sawing between the lines. I guess that's part of every writer's dilemma when they write for more than one line...
Behave and think of something great I told my brain.
Well I would if I had something to work with was the reply.
Think of something then I demanded (mostly when trying to go to sleep at night)
I might have one with little kids in said my head
We've done loads with kids in said I (somewhat petulantly)
Well that's what we have so tough and then there was silence...
So I was forced to go look at all those little Word files I have opened in the past. MAN did I have some AWFUL ideas in my time. I mean really, truly awful. I guess I should be thankful that I can recognize them for what they are now... but man. Really. Cringe worthy stuff...
There were but two that I could do something with - so I've given you the pics I sent with them. It'll be interesting to see if either of them - or a combination of the two stories will prove any good. If it's one thing I've learnt since I first sold - it's that you need to be flexible. And that having a great Editor who can communicate with you is the next best thing to winning the lottery! I'll let you know what we both come up with shall I?
And as for that bit of a website update. I added new excerpts for Bride Of The Emerald Isle and The Return Of The Rebel - both July releases for next year.... Maybe you'll pop by and let me know what you think...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tagged & New Title

Yup. Donna Alward got me! It's been a while so I guess I was due one...

But before I launch into it, I thought you all might like to know that the book that was *a tough one to write* is now officially named: The Return Of The Rebel - how great is that title! And any of you that read a little about the new casting of Connor Flanaghan will know that it's pretty damn apt too!!!

It's release date as a Modern Extra is set for July 2007 - which means it will be on the shelves at the exact same time as Bride Of The Emerald Isle in the Romance line!!! This is AMAZING! And a first for me in the UK. It means that anyone interested in the different styles we use between lines will get a very clear idea by reading the books side by side... We can even do a bit of a chat about them in June as part of the run up - cos in July I'll be travelling... CAN'T WAIT...

So, here's the tag that Donna caught me with:

Four jobs I've had:

1.Retail Manager
2. Music Tour Co-Ordinator
3. Riding Instructor
4. Professional Show Groom
(and it was tough picking just four!)

Four places I've lived:

1 Lisburn, Co. Antrim
2 Ards Peninsula, Co. Down
3 On A Tour Bus through all 32 Counties of Ireland
4 Augher, Co. Tyrone
(and again - list not long enough)

Four favorite foods:

1 Chicken
2 Salmon
4. Cheesecake
(have I mentioned the length of these lists???)

Four movies I could watch over and over:

1. Serenity
2. While You Were Sleeping
3. The Princess Bride
4. Speed

TV shows I enjoy:

1. Battlestar Galactica
2. Ghost Whisperer
3. Torchwood
4. Supernatural

Four places I've traveled:

1. London
2. Germany
3. Cyprus
4. Every County Of Ireland

Four places I'd like to visit:

1. New York
2. Australia
3. Italy
4. Thailand
(keep an eye on me next year to see how many of these I can manage)

Four websites I go to daily:

1. e-harlequin
2 The Pink Heart Society
3. Myspace
4. various friends' blogs

Four people tagged:

aka: The Pink Heart gang....

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Breathless! all over again!

Remember this cover I was so pleased with of late??? Well- I HAVE IT IN MY SWEATY LITTLE HANDS!!!

Yes - Santa brought me an early Christmas box of books! Gotta love it when that happens! So, taking them in order of release we have Breathless! The February Modern Extra release - and as you may know - my fav book to write so far! I LOVE this hero - love the bantering between hero and heroine - love the HEAT... Sigh...

So the Back-Blurb says:

Just one night would take her breath away!
Rory Flanaghan is every girl's dream: tall, toned and so, so sexy. On leave from his dangerous overseas job, he's helping out at the gym he owns. When writer Cara Sheehan starts one-to-one sessions with Rory, exercise takes on a whole new meaning! He leaves her with a sensual awareness she's never let herself feel before...
Rory can't understand why this beautiful, fiesty woman has a problem with her image, and he knows he can teach Cara what she's capable of... As things get really personal, Rory shows Cara that just one kiss, just one touch...just one night... will leave her breathless...!
Now, I'd post the excerpt inside the front cover - but - well - I don't think I can... So I've searched for a *safer* excerpt to whet your appetite...
“You have a very extensive vocabulary for someone who otherwise looks so sweet and innocent you know.”
Rory swallowed back a smile as she glared up at him, her face flushed and damp with exertion. Long tendrils of her deep brown, shoulder length hair escaping from their loose plaits and plastering to her cheeks. And every time he insisted she managed another sit up or another five minutes on an exercise bike she would grit her teeth and swear at him. Like a trooper.
“I’ll bet,” She forced her pelvis upwards as she pressed her heels into the Swiss Ball, “Women call you names,” Held the position for a second before lowering with a flop to the floor, “all the damn time.”
He did his best not to watch the upward and downward movement of her pelvis. That would be unprofessional, wouldn’t it? In fact after twenty minutes of watching her in varying thrusts and bends over the ball he was fairly sure he was past unprofessional and bordering on being a pervert. Just what was it with him and this woman?
Ever since she had walked in through the door and looked up at him with those Pacific-Ocean-blue eyes of hers he had had but one thought in his head. And its name was Cara Sheehan.
She had a way of looking at him that had made him feel like some kind of illicit treat she couldn’t allow herself to have. Which was sexy as all hell.
And she was sharp as a tack mentally, which kept him on his toes; their verbal bantering helping to distract him from, other things.
In theory.
He cleared his throat, “Not with quite so much colour in the terminology, no.”
Her blue eyes narrowed as she looked at him from the corner of her eye, “You look that word up in the dictionary today, did you?”
“It was word of the day in the paper.”
“The one with the naked women on the third page?”
“That’s the one,” His smile escaped, “Again. Come on, you have five of these to do before we move on.”
Five more of this, six more of that, and Rory was fairly sure she was smart enough to realize he was adding a few every time. But she didn’t stop, she just gritted her teeth, called him a ‘sadist’ and kept going.
He liked that about her.
Nearly a week in and she was showing the same kind of gutsy determination he had had to call on in himself since he’d come home. And he could empathize with that. It garnered his respect; helped hold hotter thoughts at bay.
She was a client after all. And if she wasn’t?
Well, suffice to say all prior deals would be off.
I may have mentioned a time or two how much I love this book. So I won't say it again.
I'll just come back and let you know when it's on sale at the M&B site - which should be next month - and when it is we'll have a wee bit of a competition on here to see if you can win a copy... Oh and don't forget to look out for the BIG END OF YEAR COMPETITION we have coming where you can win a copy of each and every one of my 2006 UK Releases!!!!
Now - if I can just wire up the scanner to my new laptop I'll scan in the cover of the other book I got - My April Romance Rescued: Mother-To-Be - the cover of which IS TO DIE FOR!!!! I think the whole world is in agreement that the covers for the new line have been FANTABULOUS so far! Yaaayyyyy!!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Catching Up

Go on - say yes - humor me...

Yes, I did indeed disappear into the cave with revisions... And although there was a fair bit to do, I was given the order to have FUN with it... So FUN I HAD... Oh yes, I had a tonne of fun with it - and then I threw in a little more fun for good measure. And FUN was exactly what was missing!!! I KNOW! From ME!!! Just shows you how much of a struggle I had with this one...

Anyway 48 odd hours after the the fun version went winging through cyberspace to London I got word that the book had SOLD!!! So I'm sure you could all hear me sighing with relief!!!! Because this one was - altogether now - *a tough one to write*....

So, to celebrate, and because I feel I've earned it, and because I've killed my last one due to over-work and therefore have nothing to work on.... I purchased a nice shiny all singing, all dancing laptop!!! WOO-HOO! And I tell ya folks - this thing is so damn fast compared to my last one I'm a bit worried about the amount of time I must have lost this last year... just WAITING. Waiting for downloads, waiting for research searches to complete, waiting for Blog pics to upload... waiting waiting waiting... And I'm also hoping that this vast improvement in speed means I'll lose my temper less... Have to say, I'm less tempted to throw this one out of the window. This one is pretty!

But it was a necessary investment too! So I'm still being good. And I went for a laptop again cos I never sit still. And with planning on doing all of the conferences next year I need something that will travel, right???

So, thanks to all this new technology at my fingertips I am actually having FUN playing catch up. For all of you on my mailing list - and some friends I added - I have sent out the newsletter for December - with all the latest on releases out now and upcoming, some reviews, news on a new competition I have coming up, some Irish Christmas recipes and a little Irish Christmas History... You can subscribe to the Yahoo version of the Newsletter here or you can email me through the website and I'll add you to my mailing list...
I'll post some of it on here next week for you guys here on the Blog and in the meantime, while I send out lots of books to competitions myself and a load to people who have patiently been waiting for books from me... you can have a think about the kinds of things you'd like to see on here this next while. BEFORE I GET BURIED AGAIN.
I thought we could kick off with the rest of the Book With Trish series???
And over at The Pink Heart Society we yesterday announced the exciting news that a Harlequin Mills and Boon Editor will be Guest Blogging this month! We're discussing questions for her interview at the PHS Yahoo loop that you can sign up to here.
So what would you ask her???
  1. Always wondered what it's like to work in the London Offices????
  2. Curious about a typical working day????
  3. Want to know what the layout is like inside the offices???
  4. Where does the slush pile live and how do they decide who reads them???
  5. What is the journey of a book from slush pile to publication????
  6. What day of the week should you shadow the phone for THE CALL????
  7. How do they decide on Mini-Series or the mix of themes???
  8. Is it tough deciding what to put on the cover???
  9. What is the best or worst thing about being an Editor???

You're bound to have things you'd ask!!!! The PHS Editors are compiling a list of questions for the start of the week so if you have something you'd like to try and get on the list then pop over to the Blog or join the Yahoo loop and ask away. There's no guarantee your question might make it but hey! It's worth a try!!! Just remember:

*Obviously due to the limited space we have here at the Blogazine we will be restricted to the number of questions that we can ask... These WILL NOT include any individual queries about manuscripts or any pitches for books... And The Pink Heart Society Editors will reserve the right to choose which questions they feel the Blogazine readers would find most interesting...*

And I'm off now to see what else I can make my new toy do...

Friday, December 1, 2006

A Little Something For Your Stocking

No! It's not pictures of hot hero types wearing Santa Hats... mind you - I may have a little something up my sleeve in that department Christmas week at The Pink Heart Society if you're at all interested... ;)

Nope this is about a rather stunning COMPETITION that the lovely Kate Walker is running!!! In the Christmas competition on her website she has two (YES! TWO!!!) Christmas stockings stuffed full of books to give away - HOW FANTASTIC IS THAT???? Actually - y'know something - I WANT IT. Wonder if thats allowed.... mmmm.... ???

And WHITE-HOT! by a certain Trish Wylie (who is that girl???) is part of the prize package along with a stunning line up of:

Christmas Kids and Kisses - A 3in1 Anthology which includes Kate's very own "The Christmas Baby Gift".

Accepting the Boss's Proposal - by my good buddy Natasha Oakley.

The Italian Doctor's Bride - by Margaret McDonagh.
(The Pink Heart Society Review Blog gave this MAJOR KUDOS).

Blind-Date Wedding by Fiona Harper. (Another one that got MAJOR KUDOS on The Pink Heart Society Review Blog !)

Chosen as the Frenchman's Bride by fellow Irishwoman Abby Green (Abbey get a website! NOW!)

The Italian Billionaire's Virgin by Christina Hollis. (Brand new Modern Romance/Presents author WHO ALSO DOESN'T HAVE A WEBSITE YET - AHEM!).

A Mistress for the Taking by Annie West. (Yes folks another one that did pretty darn well on The Pink Heart Society Review Blog!)

And there may even be more to be added before Kate picks a winner!!!

I'm so very pleased that Kate added me to this list of exciting authors!!! And the one thing they all have in common is that we're all pretty darn new or brand spanking new authors!!!! Which is absolutely TYPICAL of our very lovely Kate Walker!!!

Yes, not only did she go and write the fantastic 12-Point Guide to Writing Romance which works through the topics of:

  1. How to write emotion and create PTQ (page turning quality) in your novels
  2. How to create conflict amidst your characters and why it is a major essential component in your novel.
  3. Why dialogue is the lifeblood of your knowledge
  4. How to make dialogue sound realistic
  5. How to make your characters real
  6. How to create the required sharp focus on your hero and heroine
  7. How to develop supporting characters that work
  8. Why flashbacks are important in some stories and how to create them in your novel.
  9. Why sensuality is important and how you can develop sensuality between your hero and heroine
  10. How to pace the development of the romance that is occurring between your hero and heroine
  11. How to write the love scene between your hero and heroine and the importance of after
  12. The importance of the hero and his essential vital vulnerability
  13. The filter role of the heroine for the reader
  14. The heroines 21 St Century response to conflict
  15. How to answer the question why?

This has to be one of the MOST COMPREHENSIVE and EASY TO FOLLOW guides out there for budding Category Romance authors, which makes it pretty INVALUABLE - and I think the very fact that it's written by a woman who has MORE THAN proven her ability to write heart-stopping, page-turning, BEST-SELLING Category Romance time after time says it all!

In a world that can currently blind the new writer with in-depth, psychological, Post-Graduate standard do's and donts and 'you're a lesser writer if you don't at the very least know this' kind of attitude, that will only serve to make the majority of aspiring Category Romance writers suffer an even more difficult writing process than they have to... (When, lets face it, the majority of people who buy Category Romance want a fun, fulfilling, heart warming, optimistic romp of a read - not nine million hidden layers that detract from the heart of the story - which is me the reader speaking now!)... I think the fact that this book covers everything you need to know clearly, succinctly, with humour and without addling your brain makes it worth every single penny!!! So, if you're going to spend your hard-earned cash on books to help improve your writing and to explore the intricacies of this genre then I say make this one, one of them! Just look at the number of people who are now published who rate his book highly... Nuff said...

Plus Kate is waaaayyyyyy more accessible than many of the people out there who have written books about writing books. She will answer emails, host forums, answer questions on the eharlequin boards, post advice on her blog - she even hosts writing seminars!!!! She is one of the MOST PRO-ACTIVE supporters of new writers that I know of and for that she should be praised from here to high heaven!!! Every time I have met Kate she has had words of advice that I have taken with me. Which I thank her for!!!

I don't think anyone will disagree that the Romance Writing Community is one of the friendliest on the Web .... Gotta love this business!

And on a side-note it's a timely reminder of White-Hot! as it's available on the shelves in Australia and New Zealand RIGHT NOW as my first ever Sexy Sensation release! Woo-Hoo! The fact that it has a companion in the shape of Project: Parenthood on the shelves at the same time just makes it an even more exciting month for me!!!

Now all I gotta do is finish off these revisions (and it's finally feeling like I have a handle on this sucker now!!!) and then I can kick back and think about some holiday celebration thats rumoured to be on this month.... Anyone hear anything about that???