Thursday, December 27, 2007

Yes I'm Back and with NEWS!!!!

And not just news on what might befall Natasha in the near future either.... ;) Matchmaking for me indeed!!!
FIRST UP the review for Her One And Only Valentine Natasha kindly posted to make nice with me:

Inheriting an old country house gives Rhiannon McNally a purpose -- and a place to start over with her daughter, Lizzie. Then Rhiannon finds out Lizzie's father, wealthy businessman Kane Healey, owns the property the house stands on. Rhiannon's hated Kane for a decade, thinking he abandoned her while she was pregnant, but Kane never received the letter she left for him. So they both have negative feelings to overcome, for Lizzie's sake. Rekindling their passion is unexpected -- as is falling in love, again. Trish Wylie's Her One and Only Valentine (4) has excellent characters -- particularly the larger-than-life hero. It also has charm and wit to spare.

AM CHUFFED TO BITS WITH THAT!!! Have to say the fear never leaves you when it comes to reviews of books... never... I jest not... And as this one is kind of an homage to Pride & Prejudice in my own wee way and is my first ever secret baby/child story I've been pooing myself... THANKYOU ROMANTIC TIMES!!!

AND THANK YOU AGAIN cos...

Somewhat MIRACULOUSLY for the THIRD YEAR in a row the very very very very LOVELY RT Reviewers have nominated one of my books for an award!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This year it's Rescued: Mother-To-Be, which was an RT Top Pick back in April of this year... And if you recall the book I needed lots of help with when it came to questions about pregnancy (which I know absolutely NOTHING about barring the shopping you get to do for new arrivals when friends or family have a little one...cos shopping I can DO) The info my friends gave me... welllll.... Natasha wasn't wrong when she said it scared me a tad...

And just to complete my hat-trick of good news we have another nomination and this one is just as exciting for me because it's something VERY NEW for we Harlequin authors.

2007 saw the introduction of all Harlequin books to the ebook market and because of that we are now eligible to enter contests that up until now we couldn't.... so feeling a little brave I entered the EPPIE contest for the first time...

Aaaannnndddd Bride Of The Emerald Isle has finalled in the Contemporary Romance Category!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I should go offline more often really.... You can read a full listing of the RT Reviewers Choice Award Nominees HERE - Big shout out to PHS friends Ally Blake and Natasha Oakley for their Nominations too!!! And you can read a full listing of the EPPIE Award Nominees HERE....
OH MY BUT ITS GREAT TO BE BACK!!!

Trish is back!

Disaster!!!!!!!!! Trish has her cable. So that's me needing police protection then. I had all kinds of things planned, too. Maybe I'll have to post my research suggestions on my blog ...???????? It all depends on what Trish does now, doesn't it!! But in the hope that I may live to write another day, have a look at the Romantic Times Magazine review of 'Her One And Only Valentine' - out this January!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Inheriting an old country house gives Rhiannon McNally a purpose -- and a place to start over with her daughter, Lizzie. Then Rhiannon finds out Lizzie's father, wealthy businessman Kane Healey, owns the property the house stands on. Rhiannon's hated Kane for a decade, thinking he abandoned her while she was pregnant, but Kane never received the letter she left for him. So they both have negative feelings to overcome, for Lizzie's sake. Rekindling their passion is unexpected -- as is falling in love, again. Trish Wylie's Her One and Only Valentine (4) has excellent characters -- particularly the larger-than-life hero. It also has charm and wit to spare.

Nice!

Now you can have your blog back, Trish!!

With love
Natasha

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Matchmaking!

Yes, still me! Not surprisingly, it being Christmas, Trish is still without her cable so I remain in control of her blog. Obviously I don't want to waste the opportunity to cause mischief. :) But if I'm to live I need to conceal it in writerly terms.

This is a bit of a stretch but I want you to work with me. We're going to consider this research.

It occured to me that as Trish is the only single girl among the Pink Heart Society editors I really ought to lend her a hand. She's just so picky! But I reckon if we all pool our resources - friends, cousins, brothers ... we should be able to come up with a shortlist of men who might suit her. 'Hands on' research can only be good for a career romance novelist, wouldn't you say???? And too much time alone in her cabin is going to make her very dull. So ... let's get to work.

I think I've got her 'list' clear in my head.

Rupert Penry-Jones is, unfortunately, taken, but something similar would be fine.

We need tall. She is that shallow It's to do with eye levels. She prefers it if they are making eye contact rather than anywhere lower down.

Somewhere between thirty and forty, I think. Any older and he won't keep up.

She likes a bit of mystery. So someone a little reserved, perhaps.

Accent - actually she's flexible on this. She's writing a run of American heroes so maybe that's an idea worth exploring. As an author she can live anywhere.

He has to like horses. This is non-negotiable.

Nice eyes, by which she means expressive.

And cats. Trish likes cats.

And country. She's not going to be happy unless we settle her somewhere rural with space to breathe. Getting Trish safely about London is a bit like maneouvring a rabbit who's been stunned by headlights.

She's a very good aunt so I think we can give her a man with children already. Not so sure she wants to do pregnancy herself. When she wrote her pregnant heroine I think we may have given her too much information and put her off!!!

(This is Channing Tatum, btw. She thinks he's very sexy. Personally I think he'd be too much work. Just think how many stomach crunches you'd have to do to keep up with him! But we're not thinking about me ...)

I think we ought to go for solvent.

And it would help if he was a smoker. Despite considerable pressure Trish is still smoking far too much, particularly when on a tight deadline.

If he could cook that would be wonderful because she's more of a re-heater.

So, is that enough to be starting with??? Have I missed anything? Anyone immediately spring to mind?

I'll give you a little bit of time to mull that over and then I'll tell you about the research trip I have planned for her.

Much love
Natasha

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Still messing about on Trish's blog

Hi all! This is Natasha Oakley. Again!

It would seem Trish's cable has not arrived - which means you get me. So trying to keep up the 'feel' of Trish's blog I have searched out a cat picture which conveys exactly how I'm feeling today. Anyone else completely shopped out????



And then I thought I'd better give you all an activity. So, here is the YouTube of the day.



If the Irish accent beats you I've put a written version of the 'Twelve Days of Christmas letters' over on my blog.

Lots of love
Natasha

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A brave decision!

Or foolish??????? Actually, yes, foolish. This is Natasha Oakley and very foolishly Trish has given me her password.

The reason she has is that the builders have 'stretched' her internet cable. You know, of course, that Trish lives in a wooden cabin in the middle of rural Ireland??? So picture the internet cable popped out of the window, travelling over the ground, across a hedge, down a trench, up across the roof and back through another window.

Anyone surprised she's without a connection???????????

She has a new 30ft cable on order but it's yet to arrive. So, in the meantime she's suggested I update her blog. Me! Me, who rarely updates her own.

Would you trust me with your blog?

Would you trust me with your blog if you'd written 'Ask Trish Anything Part 1'??????

Remember this? All aimed at me!

"Now Richard Armitage. I have heard that this addiction is increasing in numbers on an almost daily basis. It is somewhat worrying. I think there are several stages of the addiction and I'm just going to walk through them to check what stage you are at so we can decide if you're eligible for therapy or so far gone that you might be best to buy the T-Shirt so that people are warned you're coming... This is best for both stalker and stalkee I feel...


1/ See him in passing on TV and think 'ooohhh he's nice'

2/ Make a point of ordering all dvd's he's in because he's rather yummy and you're interested in his 'body of work'

3/ You have gone through the TV guide with a highlighter pen and have rescheduled your work/family life/socializing in order to make sure you see him in everyth
ing he's in even while you tape it at the same time (taping AND watching at the same time are a very common sign of approaching addiction)

4/ You've done ALL of the above and are now spending at least an hour a day trawling the internet for new pics and details of upcoming work and latest rumours and are IM'ing people who don't actually care to pass on the information you've found because its 'important they know' and they might be single and could marry him for you so he can come round your place for dinner...

5/ You have done ALL OF THE ABOVE, named your friends children with him, know the weather report for where's he's currently filming and have joined what could almost be considered an underground movement of women (who may one day invade the country) just so you can read what they're learned about him while not sharing anything you've found out in case anyone thinks you're being a bit of a fan-girlie.

Really, I think as far as '3' can be considered *research* for a writer, but anything after that is
both procrastination and frankly a little worrying... Maybe you need to look at what it is about Richard you find so fascinating. If you've not *cast* him as one of your heros yet then maybe you should so you can work through this *fantasy life* in a productive way that could get you PAID for the effort. Or perhaps you need to get your husband to dress in either Victorian Gentleman clothes or leather for an evening... And remember too that by focussing your stalking energies on several dozen actors/singers etc you are not only spreading the love, but lessening the addiction for ONE IN PARTICULAR... which is a very good way of putting the police and mental health authorities off the scent... "

I need to think. The scent of blood is in my nostrils ....

For the time being I think I shall content myself with explaining how it comes about Trish knows so much about obsessive love.


Rupert Penry-Jones!

A man she says 'has married the wrong Irish girl'.



So, what is it about him she likes so much?

- Height. This is a huge thing for Trish. She has, and I quote, 'a huge problem with a guy who has a conversation with my breasts'. And, yes, I can see that would be a problem for Trish. She is a woman of ample cleavage.

- His aloofness. Trish maintains, 'If a man is telling you their entire life story over a glass of wine you're going to think 'gay' or 'go home'. I'm not arguing.

- Lovely eyes. Okay.

- Accent. Very English. A male version of my own.

- His talent. Trish reckons he plays 'vulnerability beautifully' in 'Spooks'. That would be a straight level 2, wouldn't it? The 'interested in his body of work'?????

I concede she's not trawling the internet at the moment. But that's only because she can't!!!

How do you suppose I know that:

Rupert was born on 22 September, 1970, in London
He's 6' 2"
He married Dervla Kirwan this year.
The couple have two children together. Forence, born 1st May, 2004 and Peter on 8th April, 2006.
His father is Peter Penry-Jones and his mother Angela Thorne.
He dated Kylie Minogue for a while.
He attended the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

I could go on .....

The only reason she hasn't joined an 'underground movement' is because there isn't one. (Hello all members of the Armitage Army).

I'd say she was a comfortable level 5!! Don't you think she should take her own advice and write a fair haired, blue eyed hero???????? To date, he's been conspicuous by his absence.

It is a delightful feeling to have been given an unexpected opportunity to redress the balance! And particularly wonderful knowing she can't even look!!!!!

Much love

Natasha

Monday, December 10, 2007

Is There Anyone Out There???


Have I got your attention???

Wanna know who this is???

Have I brightened your Monday???

Can you tell I'm feeling better???
Okay then - if you're remotely interested in who this chap is then you can come find me over at The Pink Heart Society today...

And if my internet connection will let me play I'll be back tomorrow with another answer to Ask Trish Almost Anything...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Must I???


Well I got drawn out of the sick cave (am now convinced I must have Bird Flu btw cos it's the only thing could make me this pathetically weak...) by first a newspaper article and then a kind of *call to arms* this evening.

Yup. Never a dull moment round my way.

First up the very lovely Abby Green aka my mate Daisy Cummins from Dublin had an ikkle bit of a starring role in The Guardian - go read HERE. (our lovely Natasha Oakley blogged beautifully on it here too)

And hot on it's heels I got a phone call from BBC Radio Ulster to go talk on a similar topic on their Arts Programme HERE (though it won't be live for long so scoot if you really wanna hear it)

First thoughts when emailed and phoned were THANK GOD I don't write erotica if I'm reading out an excerpt on LIVE RADIO at TEATIME. As it was I read from His Mistress: His Terms (available for sale at the Mills & Boon site RIGHT NOW one should add!!!) and it was - shall we say a TAD difficult - to find an excerpt to read that didn't involve, erm, well bodyparts quite frankly... Also a tad tough to find a less than thirty second excerpt that might give some idea of the tone of the story - oh and UNLIKE NATASHA I have NO ACTING experience and you'd be amazed how much you find yourself wishing you'd kept up that reading aloud thing they made you do in primary school... oh and the whole teeth thing/speech impediment dilemma from last week didn't help any either...Ho hum...

Actually all in all I thought it was a more evenly balanced piece than pretty much ANY of this years ones I've commented on here. So I was merely left with that cringe factor you get when hearing your own voice somewhere - or one's own polite PHONE VOICE somewhere I should say. And then there's that kick oneself in the leg thing when you think of all the things you COULD have said. That's the thing about real life and live radio - sigh - NO TIME FOR EDITING.

It's my dream that before I die EVERYONE will understand there is more than ONE set of stories published by Mills & Boon. People do love to generalize. It's like *Cadbury's makes chocolate*. Yuh-huh - they make caramels and fruit & nuts and dark chocolates and turkish delights and truffle centres and...they may still be *Cadbury's* BUT...

You can see where I'm going here really can't you??? Romance and chocolate in the same blog. My work here is done I feel. Now back to the bird flu...

Monday, December 3, 2007

Writer's Supporting Writer's


You kinda have to be very very deeply buried in the cave to not know about the Writer's Strike currently bringing Hollywood to a standstill and with a seedling of an idea planted by fans of TV Shows they've come up with a somewhat ingenious plan to literally bring the 'point' home to the big studio moguls...

PENCILS.

Yes, pencils to support the writers. Makes sense huh??? They're asking you to donate these boxes of pencils from sustainable forests and then they're gonna deliver them BY THE PALLOT LOAD to the heads of the major studios to show support for their cause. And if being a writer or wanting to be a writer isn't enough reason to get you to fork out that hefty $1 (50p) for a box of pencils in support of fellow writer's then surely as a fan of the many TV Shows and movies we love the fact you may miss out on major plots and developments and even - GULP - the chance of RENEWAL for another season of those shows you reorganize your life not to miss will encourage you to lend a helping hand????
The shows writers and producers are no fools either and add that to lots of time on their hands and an imagination not currently in use and wellllll.... they came up with an incentive or two...

Like writer/producer pairing Gough and Miles who laid down the gauntlet by offering Smallville fans the chance to go into a raffle to get a phone call from Michael Rosenbaum aka Lex Luthor....

And for Battlestar Galactica fans (YES DONNA ALWARD - H-E-L-L-O) Jamie Bamber aka Lee Adama has offered to sign and donate three worn (as in actually worn, not threadbare) towels - which if you're a PHS Male On Monday follower you'll understand the importance of - and other members of the cast such as Mary McDonnell, Tricia Helfer, Michael Hogan, Jamie Bamber, and Michael Trucco have all agreed to make a personal phone call to fans who win the raffles in their names. ..

Other shows to join in so far are Army Wives, Eureka and the Lost executive producers have offered:

GRAND PRIZE: A personal thank-you call from us (Carlton and Damon) AND Matthew Fox where we shall do our bestest to answer your questions about the show's mysteries AND a Season 3 DVD set.

FIRST PRIZE: A signed finale script by writers Damon and Carlton and a surprise cast member!

SECOND PRIZE: Signed Season 3 DVD Set (standard and blu-ray!) by the entire writing staff!

I've already donated my boxes. And I shall let you guess which show I made the donation in the name of ;) But I have to say I'd donate the same again if there was a chance of even a signed pic of Gabe - erm sorry - Tom... or Justin... or Jensen... I'm not actually that fussy...and a tad easily led by a pretty face let's face facts here...

BUT even without that incentive you've gotta remember we wouldn't even have those shows we all love without the writers. Actors wouldn't have their award winning roles without the lines of dialogue to deliver with such flair. And I happen to think if the studios in Hollywood set the precedent of low payment for writers in the new age of technology then ALL WRITERS should be worried - it's a dominos thing... We should SHOW IT MATTERS.

I LOVE MY TV SHOWS AND I LOVE MOVIES and I LOVE GOOD WRITING in ALL it's forms. THATS why I donated my boxes...

$1 for a box of 12 pencils. They'd like to send 1,000,000 pencils. They currently have 410,000 pencils... C'mon. We can help some with that can't we???

Just click on the link on my sidebar or GO HERE and make your donation of pencils and if you name your fav show you can win goodies too!!!! $1 = roughly 50p sterling right now... go on... you know you wanna...

And it's been proved before that these things WORK. Fans of shows HAVE THE POWER to make a difference. First one I know of was when fans of a little know Sci-Fi show called Firefly who, when it was cancelled, began a world-wide campaign that eventually got them a longed for big screen movie called Serenity....GO BROWNCOATS!!!

Then more recently the fans of a show called Jericho were outraged when their show was cancelled after one season. Their answer came from one of the last lines spoken in the last episode. They sent pallet loads of.... NUTS.... pallet load after pallet load... And now??? The show is filming it's second season... NUFF SAID!!!

So it works gang. It really does.

See what you can find on the internet from your sick bed???? And if any of you technophobes out there want the code to add the box to their sidebar to show your support on your own blog just lemme know in the comments and I'll send you the HTML code for your template...

Writer's Supporting Writer's. It makes sense doesn't it??? Well it did to me...