Monday, August 27, 2007

Male On Monday Time


Yup tis that time of the week again - oh the STRESS... and I'm over introducing this fine specimen of hero inspiration at the usual spot on The Pink Heart Society - go shoo - read my highly intelligent observations...

Gabe wung off through the ether on Friday but as it's basically a whole brand new story I fully expect him to waft back on Tuesday... tho I do feel it's a better version than it was before... and I've now decided that if he gets rejected in the end I shall make him an online serial on my site (well maybe) so I don't feel like I'll have thrown away weeks and weeks of my life... (also give you a chance to see how much I can truly suck when given the time to overthink and oversimply to make up for the overthinking)

So the weekend has been spent trying to play catch up at the PHS in preparation for OUR FIRST BIRTHDAY celebrations!!! Can you believe its been a YEAR??? There's soooooo much fun coming up over there but I can't tell yet so you'll just have to pop in and see won't you??? Just to catch up with Janet now and organize the trip to London I have coming up and then I'll be ready to go back in the cave with Gabe again. That damn man!!!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Firefighter's Makes Waldenbook's Best-Sellers List!

It's my first time on the Waldenbook's Best-selling Romance list and I'm gonna take a moment to smile lots - okay??? ;)

What's EVEN BETTER is that ALL FOUR of the first wave of Modern Extra's to hit the USA & Canada are ON THAT LIST and that bodes fantastically well for the future of the line! FINGERS CROSSED. Because the Modx family of writers are just such an enthusiastic bunch of gals and love, love, love writing stunningly gorgeous SEXY heroes and fiesty, sassy heroines for the line! Sigh... Can you blame us???

So KUDOS to the Modx editorial team - YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST and a HUGE CONGRATS to fellow launch month-ers Kate Hardy, Julie Cohen and Kelly Hunter (who got to NUMBER TWO this week!!!!!) May the line go from strength to strength...

Also I wanted to share with you a little bit of the review I got from the very lovely Marilyn Shoemaker about The Firefighter's Chosen Bride... She managed to make me weep with the email she sent me privately and reminded me why I keep doing this job even when I have a GABE... Thankyou my sweet!!!

"This particular book meant a lot to me as my husband was a firefighter for over twenty years and Trish has portrayed the profession and the brave men who choose it in an honest, honourable and believable way. This author has obviously done her research and it showed in this book especially what it means to the man, to the woman he loves, his family and friends. It is a brotherhood of amazing men and women and I thank this author for this amazing story."

You can read the rest of Marilyn's Review at her Review Blog here and if you want to see what everyone else has been saying about the book you can visit The Firefighter's Chosen Bride page on my website where there's also an excerpt and some behind the scenes info...

And to all of you who went out and bought the book to help place it on the Waldenbooks list - THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!!!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Proud Auntie Day!


Today's blog is dedicated to my very beautiful and CLEVER neice Leah and my beautiful-in-an-entirely-different-but-no-less-way and more CLEVER than he'd thought he was nephew Gary on the day of their GCSE Results. We are currently having a day where the family rings round to try and discover where the clever bit might have come from... Now - how is it you work this telephone thingy again???
But it's not just the fact that they've done so well in their exams that I'm handing over today's blog to them. Nope. I'm gonna make them cringe and squirm and take my name in vain by saying online to the known universe, and anyone with good Broadband outside of the known universe, that they have an auntie who is just as proud of the people they're TURNING INTO. They're both waaaayyyyyy more confident than I was at their age and waaaaayyyyyyyy more focussed about what they want to do in their future. Is their entire generation like that??? If they are then I like to think it's because MY generation did such a flipping good job - GO THE OLDIES. And of course I can hand chunks of that praise to my lovely sister-in-law (provider of the coffee and biccies and hot heroes conversation for twenty minutes daily) and possibly even some to my brother (but as a sister I'm contractually obliged to think he's still annoying and a pain in the -)
Sooooo..... anyhooos.... am having a Proud Auntie Day. Even if my nephew is apparently camera shy and I only have one of the beautiful neice and the boyfriend who's one of my best friends son (still getting my head round that one having known them both as long as I have so leave me be OKAY???) *** just got told off for not saying he's CLEVER today TOO btw... now as to the beautiful??? I'll let Leah be the judge ;) But he is DISGUSTINGLY good at anything sporty and that's reason enough not be any more flattering - right?***
To the ones not related to me by marriage (so far... no rush I feel) - Gazzer - keep making me laugh with that lovely sarcastic wit that only a fellow Wylie will ever completely appreciate and Leah - oh she of the innocent smile and the not so innocent sparkle in the eye - you're the kid I wuda had hun - truly.
And to all the kids who got results today YOU ROCK. No matter what a piece of paper tells you good or bad - you STILL ROCK. And there's a whole world out there just waiting for you... go explore it, take a chance or two, dance when you feel like it, cry and let it out even if it makes you feel like a wuss, love with your whole heart, play the music loud when it wont get you arrested and never look back with regret...
Oh - and apologies for the hole we left you in the ozone layer...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Just While You're Waiting...

...for me to resurface... Make a cup of coffee... have some choccie... watch a movie or two or three... And then go play Blogthings if you like til I can get Gabe to leave the building ;)

And if you're a ring finger or a thumb... Uh-oh...


You Are a Pinky

You are fiercely independent, and possibly downright weird.
A great communicator, you can get along with almost anyone.
You are kind and sympathetic. You support all your friends - and love them for who they are.

You get along well with: The Ring Finger

Stay away from: The Thumb

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Do We Help Define Real-Life Heroes In Our Books?

Ha! Now there's a question for you! And I may well need to step back from the computer for some of the replies to this one... But you all know I like a good discussion... ;)

We all know the romance genre as a whole takes a beating from time to time and we all know how ironic that is when it's such a huuuugggeeeee chunk of the book market. Strength in numbers the saying goes, right? And I've been thinking about that a bit of late in between wrestling my latest hero into shape (for another reason that I can't tell you about yet... but WATCH THIS SPACE as the saying goes! Natasha and I have been chatting up a storm on it!!!), because en masse that large a number of people can do wonderful things, can't they? We all believe in the power of love in a world where it's often secondary to wealth and status and just plain making it through the day. We pass on our books to our daughters and neices and friends and therefore hand them that belief in the possibilities of love and *happily-ever-after*... but does that mean we help define what makes a hero for us in real life???

I've argued this one time and time again as you lot know. Because I think women know the difference between fantasy and reality. But - now work with me here - there are also qualities on the page that we'd like to see in real life too, aren't there??? Honour, compassion, integrity, family values, a sense of humour, the ability to be humbled by the love of a strong woman... See where I'm going?

Being the good little researcher gal that I am (and being the kind of gal who gets distracted easily from one link on a webpage to another link on a webpage and - yes - okay - it IS procrastination but sometimes its INTERESTING and can lead to the beginnings of a PLOT!) I found a few different things that started me thinking about this some more and it's why I'd LOVE to hear YOUR THOUGHTS on it...

Let's look at what I found shall we. First up we have a site called Bookbug on the Web and they asked several romance authors what their definition of a hero was... Go on - go have a look. What do you agree with? I particularly agreed with:

Karen Ranney: Qualities a hero should always have are the ability to change, learn, grow, and the willingness to do so.

Susan Johnson: Tenderness, understanding, a strong sense of self, and a willingness to take on the world.

Kay Hooper: A hero should always, always have a sense of humor. Everything else is negotiable (grin).

Deborah Smith: A hero should be wise enough to be strong without cruelty, vulnerable without weakness, and loving without possessiveness. A hero likes a strong woman and doesn't feel threatened by her intelligence. He treats his daughters with unpatronizing respect and his sons with gentle authority. He knows that a man should be respected, not feared.

Robin Lee Hatcher: A hero can be flawed, but in the end, he must ultimately rise above his own human weaknesses and behave in a heroic manner, which to me means acting with integrity and moral courage.

Alexis Harrington: A hero doesn't need to be perfect—I'd rather have a man with human frailties and self-doubts. But despite his imperfections, he must have a nobility of spirit that gives him the ability to recognize his own flaws, to see the good in others, and ultimately, to do the right thing, regardless of the cost to himself.

Kathleen Creighton: I'm sure this is going to be one of those "du-uh" answers, but I'd have to say the one quality a hero must always have is simply...a good soul. He can be almost anything, any type, anybody, but without that basic goodness inside, he is not and never can be a hero.

Mariah Stewart: First and foremost, a great sense of humor. He doesn't have to be a "funny man" all the time, but he has to be able to see the humor in the situation. Intelligence—I've never met a truly sexy man who wasn't smart. I like a hero who cherishes his relationships, with family and friends, as well the heroine. Sensitive, thoughtful, supportive of the heroine's dreams and appreciative of her accomplishments, with a willingness to talk things out. A sense of real romance (I do like a man who dances in the moonlight and isn't afraid to hum off-key in a woman's ear). A great smile, used often, helps. Dimples never hurt. I guess it's obvious that I prefer the gamma man to the alpha man.

And there are loads more. GO SEE. Do you agree with them, disagree, have a favorite, have same qualities you look for in a hero in a book??? And even in there you can see that many of the authors distinguish between a hero on the page and a hero in real life... Like this one:

Pamela Morsi: A love of ironing and a willingness to pick up around the house. ...Okay, okay, you're talking fiction. The above is REAL LIFE. The most important thing is the hero's willingness to make a commitment. All other obstacles can be overcome, but only a man who can marry and live happily ever after can be a hero in romance fiction. That's my take on it, anyway.

So we're all agreed that we women know the difference between a hero on the page and a hero in real life, right? BUT - and here's where I'm gonna start the debate... Do we define the hero to MEN in real life and THATS why they think we're unrealistic in our expectations? Now THERE'S a question for you. Well it's not like they can drag us by the hair back to their cave these days is it? And there aren't that many of them with a white-charger and nice shiny armour...

So is one of the reasons the romance genre gets slammed for creating unrealistic expectations because it's not understood that we know the differences? 'Cos there's a fine line in those *differences* in the examples I've shown you. Yes, I like to think that my hero's on the page have those qualities - but you know what? - they'd kinda do it for me in real-life too if they had humour and honour and family values and confidence and - well, you get what I'm saying... so maybe the lines a little more blurry... hmmm... I mean it's not like I think men can't be heroic or lovable in real life if they're not a billionaire or a sheikh or a Prince or so drop dead gorgeous that just looking at them makes me go weak at the knees...

I mean we're not gonna write about smelly trainers or toilet habits or the way some of them can zone out the universe when the tv is on... we KNOW that. So that's not what I'm talking about here... Is anyone at all following this rambling? (There's a reason this blog is named what it's named)

So what makes's a hero a hero? What IS the difference between fiction and real-life? Have you seen the romance genre's representation of a hero change over the years? What would you change if you could change anything about them right NOW? Do we as writers have a certain responsibility in the definition of a hero??? Do any of you with boys feel a responsibilty to raise them as hero's of the future and what would you say that you'd see as heroic qualities for them to have in real life?

What IS a hero?

Told ya I'd been thinking about this some...

I'll be VERY interested to see what fellow writers and readers alike have to say on this one - I've been FASCINATED by it for days now... And then, in my link following a link following a link I tripped across this... and THAT'S why you got this blog...(the banner is a link btw)

Soooo... What makes a hero?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Who *IS* that Masked Man???


I'm wrapping up the last of my Where's Wylie posts over at the PHS today... altogether now... Awwwwwwwww.....

Yuh huh. But don't for ONE SECOND think that you BLOG READERS will get off scott-free when it comes to the bazillion pictures I still have left from the trip. Ooooohhhhhhh Noooooooooo. Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

Now - I can see you all squinting at this picture to try and figure out what it's a picture OF. Lets just say I wasn't in a good position to TAKE a pic. And I had a crowd around me. And I was a tad distracted by the subject manner.

Sooooooo you'll just have to head over to The Pink Heart Society to find out who it was. And THEN you can come back and squint a little more. I recommend it from your peripheral vision too. Possibly in a darkened room. With a little imagination or a few glasses of wine...


Ooohhhh and I revamped my Myspace page while I had a think about Gabe's revelations. Go be IMPRESSED with my GENIUS with HTML code *laughing so hard at my own joke my ribs hurt* - yes - you too can spend THREE HOURS trying to work out how to get your banner IN THE MIDDLE.

*rolling up sleeves* I'm going back in troops. Wish me well. Remember I love you ALL. It was an honour knowing you...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Finally HE SPEAKS!!!


*insert manic laughter here at will*

Yes - FINALLY - Gabe has decided TO TALK-TO-ME!!!

Alright, that's an exaggeration... 'cos well, IT'S GABE. But somewhere in the midst of the PAIN and SUFFERING I'm going through with the re-write of this book he must have started to actually feel GUILTY. And so in he appeared...

Kinda hovered in the doorway for a bit. (probably knew I didn't want to speak to him)

But as this new version of the story has very slowly... very very slowly... very very very... well you get what I'm saying here - anyway as it has VERY SLOWLY started to make some sense to me I'd almost started to to believe I understand better why he's the way he is. And he's helped a little by talking more on the page, which helps the wordcount (if I ever stop deleting the old/not the real story version that is!) and gives Ash more to hate him for frankly - 'cos when he does speak he always makes things worse. Mind you, now that I know what she did...

Anyway - look up the phrase *angry young man* and you'll find Gabe.

So when he'd hovered and leaned on the doorpost and hovered some more and I still ignored him (good dose of his own medicine I thought) - he eventually sighed and walked in - and plunked a CD on my keyboard - and told me it was ALL in the lyrics, OKAY?
Fine, I said.

And it is - in every word and every line, we have Gabe's feelings pretty much in Gabe's words - if he ever chose to say them aloud that is. Everything he feels and is going through and has already gone through in one song. If he'd just given ASH a bloody copy of it this book could have been done in about 3k!!!!

NOW I GET IT.

And actually - I kinda ache a little for him now I know. Just don't go telling him, alright???

"Nature's Law" by Embrace

I tried to fight the feeling, the feeling took me down,
I struggled and I lost the day you knocked me out,
Now everything’s got meaning and meanings bring me down,
I’m watching as a screening of my life plays out.

Every day I fight these feelings,
For your sake I will hide the real thing,
You can run all your life, all mine I will chase...

You should never fight your feelings,
When your very bones believe them,
You should never fight your feelings,
You have to follow nature’s law.

I’ll live with never knowing, if knowing’s gonna change,
I’ll stop the feeling growing, I will stay away,
Like a broken record stuck before a song,
A million beginnings, none of them the one.

Every day I fight these feelings,
For your sake I will hide the real thing,
You can run all your life, all mine I will chase...

You should never fight your feelings,
When your very bones believe them,
You should never fight your feelings,
You have to follow nature’s law.

I wrote her letters and tried to send them,
In a bottle I placed my hope,
An SOS full of good intentions sinking,
Will you give it to me,
Don’t make me wait,

You build me up, knocked me down,
But I will stand my ground,
And guide this light that I’ve found.

You should never fight your feelings,
When your very bones believe them,
If you let them show, you’ll keep them
I know you're hurt but soon you'll rise again,again,again...

You should never fight your feelings,
When your very bones believe them,
You should never fight your feelings,
You have to follow nature’s law.

The track is on the Embrace album "This New Day" and you can order it from Amazon here. And a big THANKS to RAY-ANNE who just found us THIS:

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sigh...


... I'm loathe to even post on this you know. 'Cos in my experience writer's angst has an ability to waft it's way through the ether on the internet and infect other writer's. But I know you'll all have been wondering if I fell down a hole, so here I am to tell you - I WISH.

Revisions are revisions no more. It's become a total re-write. Well, pretty much. That's what you get when you have a troublesome hero who won't tell you anything and you try to tell the story that isn't the REAL story. Yeah - THANKS GABE.

I think I have the gist of it now, but you know that thing when you learn to knit where you repeat in your head 'knit one, pearl two' to get the pattern??? Well, in my cave it currently runs along the lines of 'delete 10k, write 2'... and I'm four chapters into it but it's like wading through porridge. PLUS I made the mistake of taking that trip of mine and then going out with friends and family a few times to celebrate my birthday - so I reminded myself of what it's like to HAVE-A-LIFE and now the part of my personality that LIKES THAT is PROTESTING about being locked up again...

Especially with two more books to produce after this one so that there's not a whole heap of light at the end of the tunnel.

If this angst wafts it's way to you - I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE...

And if you'd like to hear what I'm listening to music wise to try and get me through the pain then skip on over to my Myspace page... feel free to singalong to banish the angst - that's what I'm attempting to do... ALTOGETHER NOW... Nah na Nah na Nah na....

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Yes I Am Locked In The Cave With GABE...

... But while you wait for me to surface I'm blogging about my favourite Category Romance today... In case you wanna come keep me company in a world where I HAVE A LIFE...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

That Time Of Year Again

Your Birthdate: August 5


You have many talents, and you are great at sharing those talents with others.
Most people would be jealous of your clever intellect, but you're just too likeable to elicit jealousy.
Progressive and original, you're usually thinking up cutting edge ideas.
Quick witted and fast thinking, you have difficulty finding new challenges.

Your strength: Your superhuman brainpower

Your weakness: Your susceptibility to boredom

Your power color: Tangerine

Your power symbol: Ace

Your power month: May

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Writer's Contest Result!!!!

First thing - THANKYOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE WITH THIS!!!! You've all been soooooo good about waiting for so long while I got swamped with deadlines and getting ready for travelling and the travelling itself...

Second thing - you all made the decision INCREDIBLY HARD for me so THANKS FOR THAT TOO!!! I have had one HECK of a time narrowing it down to my final three and an even WORSE TIME choosing just one from those three! Suffice to say this won't be the last time I do this - and I sincerely hope to see some of you again the next time round, when I'll attempt to schedule my life a tad better to get the results to you quicker... ;)

Anyhoo, out of the many wonderful entries I received I finally narrowed it down to three who were... DRUMROLL PLEASE...

RAY-ANNE with her story 'COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS'

JANET with her story 'THE BOYFRIEND MISSION'

AND

MARCY with her story 'HER CLIENT'S WISHES'

And can I just say that these three gals made my final decision HELL. Each story has it's own merits, each has a very individual and fresh voice and each one has the potential to make it as a great story! If I had more time I can truly say the temptation to have got the chance to work with ALL THREE would have been HUGE. But the simple fact is I just don't have that much time - I wish I did for you ladies - TRULY. Unfortunately a rather large re-write and two more full stories between now and the end of the year make it impossible so a choice had to be made!!! What I have done to ease my conscience is make some notes on EVERYONES SYNOPSIS and on the FINALISTS SYNOPSIS and PARTIAL - I hope these are useful... so watch your inbox the next few days...

So - the manuscript I'll be critiquing for one person is.... DEEP BREATH...

JANET and her story 'THE BOYFRIEND MISSION'

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS JANET and to EVERYONE A HUGE THANKS FOR ENTERING WITH SO MANY FANTASTIC STORIES!!!!

Trust me - THIS WAS A TOUGH DECISION!!!

But if you'd all still like another chance then I WILL DO THIS AGAIN (only quicker next time!!!)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Oh For Crying Out Loud That *%**% Man!


Look who's back in MY HOUSE...!!!!

Yuh-huh... the revisions are in...

And naturally, most of them centre around things I THOUGHT about putting in at the time and DIDN'T or that I DID PUT IN and then went right ahead and REMOVED...

Am I pleased to see Gabe again? Hmmm... Yes and no - which I suppose is a step in the right direction since threatening to run him over with a bus. But I did have a *palm slapped against forehead* moment or two during Michael Hauge's talks so HOPEFULLY I can get to the bottom of this *hero* once and for all!!!!

Mind you gang - these are no small revisions... so time will tell! Wish me luck...
Oooohhh and before the end of the week - The Writing Contest Winner!!!! So come back and find out who I'll be working with on what I just know will end up as a fantabulous manuscript!!!