I HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Ever since I did a profile of this guy for a Pink Heart Society Male On Monday slot he's been CRYING OUT for his own story. And I've found just the plot for him.... see? Patience is a virtue. Everything comes to he who waits. There's a time and a season...
Well you get my drift.
So as it's Modern Heat time again and since I do like a bit of an adventure meet my first ever Italian hero - yes gals meet Luca Moretti - heir to the House Of Moretti (haute couture doncha know.) And isn't he YUM??? Lemme tell ya - there's more where this pic came from ;)
Soooo having brought him to Dublin for Fashion Week we naturally need to give him a bit of a challenge...
So meet Tess Flanaghan... What? The name sounds familiar? Funny that. Okay YES she IS the sister of Rory from Breathless/ Her Bedroom Surrender and Connor from The Return Of The Rebel/At The Billionaire's Bidding. I've had so many requests for more of the Flanaghan brothers that it seemed about time to go visit the family again. It's a sister this time rather than another yummy brother but hopefully Luca's presence will make up for that some...
And who knows? If you guys like this one enough then maybe we'll have a look at Mal... or Callum...
But you gotta admit, with four brothers Tess was gonna need one HECK of a hero for her story. Kinda looking forward to this one you know...
Might have something to do with the SCENERY mind you.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
As writer's we spend a great deal of our time locked away indoors, hunched over a keyboard, battling it out with invisible characters who refuse point blank to co-operate. So a day out here and there can be quite the treat. Just over a week ago I had my great adventure in London with the Mills & Boon Centenary Party launch - and a very grand affair it was too! With a host of fellow authors all looking fantabulously glam dressed to the nines mixing with editors, marketing folks, the PR team, booksellers and the media. This kind of party is a rare occassion - and not just because publishers centenaries can be a tad of a rarity - but also because, in the UK, this kind of gathering isn't done too often. In fact, the last time I was at a gathering with this kind of a mix was at the RWA conference in Dallas last summer. And believe me when I tell you I was never quite as aware of the media at that one!!!
So that was my day in the media. And if I can get hold of a copy of the interview I'll try and get it posted on Youtube so you guys can see it... Meanwhile, back to the reality of my life and comfy clothes and reindeer slippers (actually it's bunny slippers now) and scads of coffee while I try to get through the last 8k of a book that just doesn't want to be written... Sigh... Though I must confess on Friday I crashed. Big time. I think the whole media thing has caught up with me...
But it WAS fun. So a HUGE THANKS to everyone who made me feel so welcome on the big day!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Well I do have the perfectly titled ROMANCE line book for today really don't I? That's a gift unto itself...
So let's start with where you can find me online - Over at The Pink Heart Society I'm honoured, priviledged and THRILLED to have special guest Lawrence Roibal who is the cover artist of not one, not two but THREE of my books. And as one of them just happens to be Her One And Only Valentine he's not only talked through the process of creating a cover - but has also sent me the original sketch, the photo shoot photos and pics of the TRULY GORGEOUS finished product so that we can all see what it takes to create such a thing of beauty.
I mean just look at this pic!!! How gorgeous is THAT?!
So if you've always wanted to know how the cover art is created pop on over to The Pink Heart Society today and all will be revealed...(ooohhh and there's a link to where you can find yourself a FREE mini e-book for Valentine's Day as well!!!) How can you resist???
At the same time you can find me over at the Harlequin Romance Authors Blog today where I'm talking about Her One And Only Valentine's beautiful Valentine's Day Ball and the timeless romance of dancing... and there's a very ikkle excerpt or two... You can find loads of info on there about the Romance line authors and their books and there are regular giveaways! GREAT PLACE. And remember we ARE celebrating ROMANCE today ;)
Meanwhile, in the real world I'm doing a whirlwind round of media appearances. A Valentine titled book in February in Mills & Boon's Centenary year has made me a popular gal! So if you have time on your hands and a handy browser to play with you can hear me on BBC Radio Ulster at 8AM UK time here - on U105 between quarter past twelve and one (lunchtime UK time) here (tho that one might take a wee bit of research first as you need a UK Postcode to sign in) and I'll even be on the TV!!! If I don't look like a blimp, make a complete twit of myself and IF I can find a way of getting it uploaded somewhere I'll let you know...
Can't tell you how much I wish I'd dieted sooner...
So that's my Valentine's Day. What will YOU be doing my friends??? And I'll even pick a random person from the comments for a signed copy of Her One And Only Valentine!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Well it's my turn for the Modern Heat authors Treasure Hunt! How exciting!!! For those of you that maybe don't know it's a month long competition and at the end of it there's a TONNE of lovely Modern Heat books to be won!!!
FREE BOOKS WITH HOTTER THAN HADES HEROES AND SASSY MODERN DAY HEROINES - How can you resist my friends?????
Keeping with the theme the treasure hunt seems to have taken and just to prove that I have a fantasy man or two in my Modern Heat books - first up from my March Presents Release in the USA and Canada At The Billionaire's Bidding (released in the UK as The Return Of The Rebel) we have the very lovely Connor Flanaghan. Younger brother to Rory from my May release Her Bedroom Surrender (released in the UK as Breathless! - keep up now!!!)
Fantasy material though, n'est pas???
Her head tilted to one side.
Connor nodded, “Yes, I know you don’t think that you’re the only one causing the argument but this time I can say with a good measure of ‘smug’ thrown in – that I didn’t start this one.”
The lips beneath his finger parted slightly.
“And you know I didn’t. You’re only trying to argue with me because there’s something else that you don’t want to talk about. And I get that. Because that’s the kind of thing I normally do.”
There was a small puff of air against his finger as she sighed.
“Yeah, I kinda knew you knew that. We’re not all that different you and me. And if you remember, we used to argue a lot back in the day – only you liked to call them ‘debates’. This is nothing new with us.”
Her eyes softened a shade and Connor knew he was making some progress.
“The only difference is we’ve probably both got more baggage now than we did then.”
And there it was again – that ‘something’ in her eyes. Briefer this time, but there long enough for him to see it while he was studying her so up close. What was it? Alright, so maybe it wasn’t any of his business, maybe it was something she considered very private, but it didn’t mean he didn’t want to know what it was. Thing was, it would have to be dragged from her, wouldn’t it? And truth be told, Connor was getting tired of arguing.
“I don’t know what has happened to you in the last seven years Shannon, anymore than you know any of the things that have happened in my life. But for the sake of the friendship we used to have, I’d like to make an effort to get to know you again.”
This time her quirked eyebrows told him she didn’t believe that.
So he smiled, “You already got one big confession out of me today. And here’s another one; I really have had fun here and it wasn’t just because of the varying – interesting – classes you took me to. It was because for one day I got to forget about everything else completely and just focus on who I was with. So thank you. I owe you one for that.”
“You’re welcome,” The softly spoken words moved her lips against his finger almost like a kiss.
And Connor felt the impact of that one tiny gesture to the soles of his feet. He turned his hand so that he was cupping her chin and still had a finger brushing against her bottom lip, back and forth, back and forth; the softness of her fascinating him out of speech while he suddenly became more aware of the familiar flowery scent that had only drifted occasionally by him during the day.
She said his name in a soft whisper. One that could be interpreted as an anguished plea for him to stop or an unbidden need for him to take what he was doing a step further.
“And I’ve never quite understood what that meant. So how about you explain it to me.”
She glanced at him again from beneath her long lashes, damping her lips with the end of her tongue. Damn it. It would be so much easier to drive the beginnings of a wedge between them if he wasn’t standing there looking so delicious.
Dressed in faded jeans and a short sleeved polo shirt of a darker blue, with the short spikes of his blonde hair a little more blonde and his tan just a little deeper from his weekend on the waves, he was heart wrenchingly gorgeous. And she really, really had missed him.
Her stupid heart had even jumped when she saw him.
And now she was about to point out the monumental distance between their two families. If he was weird about it, then she’d have to call him on being a snob. If he made one of the raucous jokes that her teenage peers had made, she’d hate him a little for it. But either way, it would be the beginning of the end.
His dark blonde brows rose again.
So she took a deep breath and dived on in, “They run a sex therapy retreat. Couples go there to learn meditation, yoga, massage techniques; stuff like that. And my mother is a Tantra Master.”
Then she waited.
Alex’s expression didn’t change. So she waited some more. But when she was just about ready to lift her lovely Greek salad and throw it at him, he nodded slowly and said,
Her eyes narrowed, “Okay? That’s all you’re going to say?”
“I might need a minute with this.”
She knew it! Of course he was going to need a bloody minute. Even now he was painting a very vivid picture in his mind about the way she’d been raised and about her family, wasn’t he? And he would then move on to realizing how far apart their two backgrounds were. It would only take a heartbeat or two after that for him to realize why this whole ‘playing at being a couple’ thing they were doing was completely pointless. Then maybe he’d see why an affair was the best and only option.
Which would mean he’d see she’d been right all along - so why didn’t it feel good to know that?
“To be honest my mind went a bit blank after you mentioned sex therapy,” When she pursed her lips again he smiled, “Because I was thinking it’s not like we need any of that…”
“I wasn’t suggesting we booked in.”
He reached a hand out and stole an olive off her chopping board, continuing while chewing,
She muttered a list of less troublesome pet options as she jogged from room to room in search of Moggie - less rooms would have helped mind you. But Moggie had been thrilled with the large house from the moment his paws left her too-small-for-the-both-of-them-car after Ash decided to drive the lo-ong trip home to Dublin from Paris. And the expansive gardens that came with the 17th Century Mansion of her childhood days were his idea of paradise. The kind of paradise that ultimately brought on the need for the bath he’d just escaped from.
That’s what she got for locking him up in a stable while the party was on the night before.
There was a loud crash, followed swiftly by several muffled curses. Oh good. Now he’d killed someone, or at the very least crippled them. Ash sent a silent prayer upwards that whoever it was wouldn’t attempt to sue his owner just because she had the Fitzgerald name.
She was already further in debt with her father than she’d wanted to be ever again.
Turning swiftly on her heel she ran barefoot along the hall and then stopped dead, her eyes widening in surprise at the sight of Gabe flat on his back - his deep laughter echoing off the cavernous ceilings as he wrestled back and forth with a delighted Moggie.
And she was momentarily stunned into silence. It was the mesmerizing sound of his laughter that did it.
She couldn’t honestly remember the last time she’d heard him laugh – at least not the way he was right that minute. And he really should laugh that way more often she thought; with the oh-so-male rumble from deep in his chest echoing around the vast hallway. Should smile that way; with his blue eyes dancing and his full mouth open and curved so his stunningly straight teeth looked amazingly white in contrast to his tanned skin.
It reminded her of the Gabe she’d known when she’d been a kid. And the memory made her smile at him without thinking. But when he ruffled Moggie’s woolly ears his gaze strayed upwards, locked with hers and in a heartbeat the light in his eyes died and his smile faded.
Of course it did.
Ash rolled her eyes, taking a deep breath before waving the towel held tight in her hand in Moggie’s general direction, “He got away from me.”
Gabe ruffled the dogs ears again, “Who’s a clever boy then?”
“He discovered the compost heap in the garden and rolled in it, so he needed a bath before there was any chance of him being allowed back inside…” And why exactly was she making excuses? “Well, he certainly seems to like you. No accounting for taste I suppose.”
Gabe rolled over and sprung to his feet with surprising agility for a man his size, swiping his large palms down his jean clad thighs to remove some of the water Moggie had covered him with,
“Animals and small children – what can I say?”
“Well there’s always an exception to every rule.”
His vivid blue eyes looked her over from head to toe in an irritatingly intense gaze; sending her pulse rate skipping erratically when he lingered for entirely too long on the part of her shirt that was soaked in against her bare breasts – her nipples tingling into peaks against the material - which just didn’t make any damn sense to Ash.
People who didn’t like other people did not have a physical response to them, not unless if it was a bad taste in the back of the mouth.
He then let his gaze slide down, over the knot she’d tied in her shirt to the bare skin at her waist, down further over the legs exposed by short cut off jeans. And everywhere he looked felt like she’d been physically touched, like he’d actually put his hands there.
But as much as it bugged her that he’d just made her feel that way, she couldn’t help but admit that there was a very basic hormonal reason for it; he just had a very male - well he had a kind of edge – no, it wasn’t that – he just looked so –
She folded her arms across her breasts to hide her body’s reaction as she tilted her head to one side, lifted an accusatory brow and glared at him.
Blue eyes sparkled in challenge, daring her to call him on what he obviously knew he’d just done, then he threw a half-smile down at Moggie, ruffling his ears yet again before he turned round and began gathering up the chairs that had scattered when he was knocked over. And Ash should have just taken that as a good opportunity to grab Moggie and leave. But that would be running away, wouldn’t it? Well like hell.
She was done with running away.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
It's very rarely we get one of our books reviewed outside of the normal review sites so to get an email from my lovely editor on Friday to say my February book Her One And Only Valentine had even BEEN reviewed by National newspaper The Daily Mirror was thrill enough!!! To get a three out of five in the review rating from a place that doesn't normally review Mills & Boon had me doing the happy dance!!! To be tagged as a BOOK OF THE WEEK - weelllllll you can but IMAGINE what I'm doing for THAT ONE...
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Trish would just like me to tell you that she no longer wishes to sit beside this boy in class anymore.
Apparently he has been proving rather difficult and she feels her work is suffering because of it. She says he is a bit of a know-it-all and has a tendency to look over her shoulder while she's working - to tell her she's doing things wrong.
Trish is most perturbed by this and as a consequence has spent most of the week trying to force feed her homework down poor woofies throat so she can use the same excuse as last time... Understandably this is causing a great deal of angst for a much loved family pet.
She has asked that I write this letter to you to request she be seated beside a nicer boy. One less problematic would, I feel, be beneficial for all concerned - as the bickering while she works is becoming quite stressful.
She has also said at this point she feels so desperate she is fully prepared to sit beside someone called Gabe?
Sunday, February 3, 2008
One of the most exciting things for me this month is the fact that I'm one of two authors helping release the Mills & Boon Romance line into India!!!
Because for the Romance line we have:
Her One And Only Valentine
Rescued By The Sheikh by Barbara McMahon
HOW COOL!!! And since I have several visitors from India to the website and Blog each week its FANTASTIC to be able to say HI properly ;) (picture me waving here)
For anyone who doesn't know, this is a HUGE market that has never been *officially* sold into. Though Mills And Boon as a brand have something like 96 odd % product recognition there - more than Coca Cola!!!!! Why?! Well you may indeed ask why. And me being me with my natural curiosity and the ability to hold information in my skip of a brain while forgetting everyday *simple* stuff, means I can tell you WHY.
It's cos we've been sending them *books* from the UK for decades.
'Hang on Trish didn't you just say they'd never been there before?'
Yes indeed darling blog reader - I did say that - kinda. We've never OFFICIALLY done it before this month. You with me? What we did is - no, wait. Lemme go back a step. You know in the UK and everywhere else for that matter the books have a limited shelf life - yes? Yes. So what happens to whats left when the books come to the end of that shelf life? Welll... several things. I've heard reports of them even being used as part of the land fill for motorways at one point.(along with other paper products I might add) BUT what I CAN CONFIRM happened for a long, long time - was the covers were removed and they were shipped in containers to India, where they were sold in the penny markets for years and years. Hence not only being *green* as there's less waste but also building up a readership AND that fantabulous brand recognition that money just can't buy...
But it makes sense that we're launching there *properly* now when you think about it. And in a recent article in The Times Online part of the reason was touched on by Andrew Go, the man leading the new branch of the company into India;
“India is crazy about true romance,” Andrew Go, the head of the Indian operation, said. “Look at the basic Bollywood plot: boy meets girl; conflict; happy ending. We carry across that trend. We say we sell four books a second, Actually it’s 4.4. If I can take that to five, I’m a hero.”
And he's right, isn't he? I LOVE Bollywood movies I have to say. To me, they hark back to the classic Rogers and Hammerstein movies I was raised on as a child with big song and dance numbers and happily ever afters.
So it's very exciting to be part of the line up of books launching officially TOMORROW. Especially when you consider there's - are we sitting down for this folks??? - a STAGGERING 300 million English-reading consumers!!! My poor wee head can't even get round that figure without going into meltdown. Especially considering my ENTIRE COUNTRY has just over 3 million occupants...
Here's hoping even a teeny percent of those readers take to the books and here's to all the potential writers we have coming our way from India too! It's a VERY EXCITING YEAR all round! To find out what other books are available in this launch month you can go to the brand shiny new Mills And Boon India site here.
Now back to the cave for me. Especially seeing as my deadline is like - you know - tomorrow - and then I have to get ready for the glamorous cocktail party in London... (STILL no dress!!!)
Friday, February 1, 2008
New month. New covers!
You know I don't think I'll ever tire of the thrill of finding a new cover. Mind you part of it might be the curiosity of how close the people on the cover end up to the vision I had in my head when I wrote the book. As a reader anytime I read a book that had a hero on the cover (and lets face it for we gals its ALL about the hero, isn't it?!) who looked like I had him pictured in my head from the way the writer descibed him it just added to the experience, you know? One NOT like him - well, I guess I just made up my own mind...
And I spose its a bit like doing one of those identikit pictures the police does - no two people will necessarily see the same thing or end up with the same picture. Probably cos we all have our own 'ideals' in our wee heads. Its that whole' what's your type' question, isn't it???
But as usual. Digressing. My March Presents release At The Billionaire's Bidding aka The Return Of The Rebel (you know - the one RT said sucked) is pretty gosh darned close to how my characters look. Kinda. So we LIKE this one.
His Mistress: His Terms in Australia in March... erm...
Lovely cover - don't get me wrong. And would have been nigh on perfect - for Breathless! But there's no water in His Mistress: His Terms. No - wait - I lie. Alex sails. But we don't see them in a pool. At all. Soooo...
Lovely cover like I say. Apt for the book? Nope. Would it put you off as a reader? Well - you tell me... That's the question of the day folks.
Meanwhile back in Valentines Day media land. If you pop over to All That Women Want and scroll down you might see a somewhat familiar cover on the right hand side... Some great stuff on there actually. And a new site for me so YAY!
AND while I remember - if you LOVE the Modern Heat/Sexy Sensation/Promotional Presents books and you'd like to get your mitts on LOTS OF THEM IN ONE GO then February is the month for you to go a-seekin-treasure me hearties! Yaharrr...Just go visit the Sensational Romance Blogspot and off ye go a seekin...
(That was a pirate impression in case you missed it...)
Right back to work I go. And can I just say my neck is KILLING ME.