Archive for December, 2008

28
Dec
08

Looking Forward To 2009

As 2008 draws to a close, some of the Desirabelles have cast their eyes forward to answer the question: What are you looking forward to in 2009? Here is what they had to say.

Sandra:  The July release of my very first book, Having the Billionaire’s Baby, and seeing what I’ve worked towards for so many years actually result in a book I can hold in my hands.

Robyn:  Other than my 18yo dd meeting a nice boy (no more out of work drummers with secret pregnant girlfriends, please!) I’m looking forward to the NA release of my fifth Desire, “Bedded by Blackmail” in June.  The story has some of my favourite hooks – Rags to Riches, Housekeeper to a Multi-millionaire, plus there’s a nasty villain who thinks he has a good reason for extorting the poor heroine, Ella Jacob (that’s Ella in the picture.)  Tristan Barkley is more than your typical hero and has his reality tipped on its head when black turns to white and Ella’s past entangles them both in a web of deceit that could prove fatal.

Yvonne:  I’m really excited about my upcoming  Rogue Diamonds mini-series (releases in Feb/Mar/Apr). The series follows three old school buddies journey to love-and of course, each journey has some very bumpy patches. Starting 5 January, on eHarlequin.com I’ll be hosting a discussion on the first book, “Convenient Marriage, Inconvenient Husband,” and the series in general-please pop on by so I’m not just talking to myself! As soon as I have the link for the discussion I’ll post it up on my blog. Also, as part of their 60th anniversary celebrations, Harlequin are doing a special year long spotlight with a “My Favorite Hero” blog feature. A discussion between my Rogues, about the first hero’s predicament, will be featured on 7 January! All this before I’ve even received my author copies. Looks like January is going to kick start a busy year for me.

Bron: In 09 I look forward to my youngest starting university, my eldest returning safely from a trip to India, and the first foal from my mare (fingers crossed.) I also have a new series to look forward to, both in release and in writing. The first two books feature the wash-up from an innocent sister swap, with an extra twist on the mistaken identity theme. To solve the mess of misunderstandings, Isabelle and Chessie Browne are swept off to England and into a world of private jets and chauffeured limos, London townhouses and country estates, polo and opera and weekends in Paris. And shopping. There is a strong Cinderella theme, plenty of blue blood, a few wicked relatives, and at least two delicious men. Cristiano Veron is all hot sexy charm, Justin Harrington intriguingly aloof, and I had enormous fun playing out the attraction of opposites (guess which man gets the quiet sensible sister and which the funloving firebrand?) Magnate’s Make-Believe Mistress is a July release and Billionaire’s Inconvenient Bride will follow in September. And this year I’ll be working on two more books featuring siblings of Cristo and Justin. (The picture is my collage for Make-Believe Mistress.)

Paula: I always love the idea of a brand-spanking new year, before it loses it’s shiny new-car smell and everyone drags their muddy footprints all over the new carpet 🙂 For me, 2009 is the year I turn the big 4-0 in June, and apart from the “hey, has it been that long since I went to school/MC Hammer was the coolest/I went into labour?” moments, I don’t stress about getting another year older. So the stuff I’m really looking forward to this year is catching up with friends at Australia’s first Romance Reader Convention in February and RWAustralia’s National Conference in August. We always have a ball at these things: I’m so lucky I get to call this work!

Another event I’m looking forward to is my next book, The Magnate’s Baby Promise, which will hit US shelves in August, then Australia in September (I’m hoping to have my author copies in time for conference!). It’s about Cal Prescott, Sydney’s richest software developer, who needs a wife to get control of his step-father’s company. Ava Reilly, a small business owner in rural NSW, needs his money to save her family business. It’s got a one-night stand, an unexpected pregnancy and a forced/convenient marriage, plus two wonderfully flawed characters. To get the feel of an outback country town, I used a fabulous picture of NSW’s Hunter Valley by Ken Duncan for inspiration.  I’m also reeeeeally looking forward to completing two more books by August – one is Cal’s brother’s story, and the other part of Desire’s “Babies and Billionaires” 2010 series with wonderful Aussie authors Maxine Sullivan (March 2010) and Robyn Grady (April 2010). Mine will be a May release and I’m absolutely loving writing it!

That’s a brief glimpse of what we’re looking forward to in 2009; what about you? Join the discussion for a chance to win a signed copy of Bronwyn’s Bestseller Collection, featuring her first two books In Bed With The Boss’s Daughter and Addicted To Nick.

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20
Dec
08

and so this is Christmas…

beetles-christmas

I’m sure you know the song. John Lennon and Yoko wrote it one evening in October. It was released in time for the festive season, but (would you believe) the song didn’t rate a mention on the US charts.  It’s a close call, but that Christmas song is possibly my favourite.

grinch

What about Christmas movies? As a child, I totally loved the classic, Frosty the Snowman. Nowadays I’m far more sophisticated. The Grinch, starring Jim Carrey as the green furry-bellied neurotic cynic, really hits my silly-season spot. The closing scene brings tears to my eyes every single time.

Now, a favourite Christmas book? Has to be Harvey Slumfenburger’s Christmas Present about a very noble and determined Santa battling every conceivable obstacle to deliver a forgotten present to little Harvey, who lives way up the top of Roly Poly Mountain.

 christmas-cute-kid

Christmas is about hope and giving. It’s about love and loyalty. 

Christmas is about family and friends and, especially, children. 

From all the Desirabelles, have a sensational, and safe, Christmas!

Let us know your favourite Christmas song, movie or book and be in the draw for this year’s Christmas Gift Collection from Harlequin.

18
Dec
08

the twelfth day of Christmas…

And so, we come to the last day. Did you know ‘twelve drummers drumming’ is actually refering to the twelve points of doctrine of the Apostles’ Creed? After I read them, it was very clear to me that these points were all about belief. 

Whoever you are, whatever background you come from, every person  lives by a core set of beliefs that are personal and meaningful to them.  For example, some would’ve been brought up with “I believe it’s wrong to kill any living creature” – unless you were raised on a farm where killing (sick animals, feral creatures) may have been a way of life.  “I believe the truth should be told” is another… unless you’re a guy and your partner asks “does my butt look big in this?” 😆   

And when I think about the phrase, “I believe…” I’m immediately reminded of Kevin Costner’s sexy monologue he gives Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham (warning – dirty talk up ahead): ” I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. ”  Whew!  😯

I’ve never really analysed my beliefs that deeply: some have been with me since childhood, some have been learned the hard way.  Here’s just a few I’d like to share.

I believe we should be kind to others.   I believe in the power of healing by positive thought.  I believe that once a heart is broken, it can never be completely mended.   I believe that some people are happier alone.  I believe in the punishment befitting the crime.  I believe animals have a lot to teach us and how we treat them is a great indicator of a person’s soul.  I believe in the silent beauty of snow, the glorious glow of a summer sunrise and the sweet, joyous euphoria of a great book or moving piece of music.  I believe in tears of joy as well as of sadness, evolution and the power of a good day planner and the right shade of lip gloss.  I believe OJ did it, that Pluto should’ve never been reclassed “a dwarf planet”, that Veronica Mars and Firefly were axed way before their prime, that the brain is a wonderful, complex thing, that kids should be allowed to be kids for as long as possible and children watch way too much sex and violence on TV.  And I also believe that sometimes, you have to hurt the ones you love in order to be truly happy.

What are your beliefs?  Share a few of them and you could win a surpise Christmas gift!  BTW I did intend to add some pikkies but my computer died and I’m posting this from my gym 😦    I believe computers know exactly when to screw you over…

17
Dec
08

On the 11th day of Christmas…

…here are eleven books I’m looking forward to ~ in no particular order

1. Bone Crossed & Hunting Ground – Patricia Briggs (Okay, I know that’s two books, but shhhh)

bone-crossed

2. Propromises-in-deathmises In Death & Kindred in Death – JD Robb (Um…see above *grin*)

3. Demon Dawn – Meljean Brook

4. Duplicate Effort – Kristine Kathryn Rusch

duplicate-effort

5. The Shadow Queen – Anne Bishop

the-shadow-queen1
6. The Vampire’s Bride – Gena Showalter

vampires-bride

7. Magic Strikes – Ilona Andrews

magic-strikes

8. Blood Sins – Kay Hooper

kay-hooper

9. Bengal’s Heart – Lora Leigh

10.Trunning-hotucker’s Claim – Sarah McCarty

11. Running Hot – Jayne Ann Krentz

You know what I’ve just realized? Every single book on that list is part of a series. I do however, quite often pick up debut authors or authors I haven’t yet read if the blurb/concept catches my interest. Judith James debut Broken Wing and Victoria Dahl’s contemporary debut Talk Me Down are both on my tbr list because of that very reason.

Now it’s your turn – what books are you looking forward to? You can list one, two or even eleven!vampires-bride2

Contest now closed. Winner: Ada Lato-Esposito

Everyone who comments goes into a draw to win a very special prize. The fabulous and talented Gena Showalter, NYT Bestselling author of the Lords of the Underworld series has offered to give away an ARC (advanced reading/review copy) of THE VAMPIRE’S BRIDE, releasing March 2009!

Contest closes midnight Friday Dec 19th, 2008, NZ time.

16
Dec
08

on the 10th day of Christmas…

10-lords-leaping1

 

We not only have Ten Lords a-Leaping (must feel good to be able to do that!), we have the fabulous Nicola Marsh, Romance and Sexy Sensation/Presents author, here to give us a look at her Santa Wish list and give away a copy of TWO recent releases!! 

 

nics-xmas-tree4

Ho! Ho! Ho! And a very merry Christmas to the lovely Desirabelles for inviting me to join in their 12 Days of Christmas.

May this Christmas be a special time for all of you.

 Today we have ten lords a-leaping.

 I don’t know about ten but in my house, we have 2 little lords doing loads of leaping come Christmas morning.  And that’s before they get stuck into the sweet treats!

Christmas is a magical time and with little kids I love seeing their eyes light up when they first spy the mound of presents under the Christmas tree.  This year, Santa’s been given strict instructions to bring a remote control tarantula, a bug catcher, a bug home…considering my aversion to creepy-crawlies, I think Santa’s going to be dumping his pressies outside this year!

nics-present1So if Santa could bring you anything this year, what (or who!) would it be?

I know the heroine, Beth Walker, in my current release THE BOSS’S BEDROOM AGENDA would ask for sexy archaeologist Aidan Voss wrapped up in a big red bow (and probably little else!  Come on, this book is a Sexy Sensation after all…)nic-marsh-playboy16

To join in the festive spirit, I’m giving away a copy each of my 2 recent releases, HOT NIGHTS WITH A PLAYBOY (Harlequin Modern Heat) and THE DESERT PRINCE’S PROPOSAL (Harlequin Romance) so to be in the running, please leave a comment and share your Santa wishlist!

 Nicola

www.nicolamarsh.com

THE BOSS’S BEDROOM AGENDA (Harl. Presents) OUT NOW in Aust/NZ, Feb 09 USA
TWO WEEKS IN THE MAGNATE’S BED (Harl. Modern Heat) March 09 UK, May Aust/NZ
THE BILLIONAIRE’S BABY (Harl. Romance) May UK/USA, June Aust/NZ

15
Dec
08

On the Ninth Day of Christmas…

9_ladies_dancingDepending on the version of The Twelve Days of Christmas we could be blogging nine drummers drumming or nine ladies dancing. Anyone want to form a conga line? With nine? Would we all conga in time?

 

Oh dear, maybe there’s too much cheer happening here.  😀

 

Which brings me back to dancing. As a kid I loved to watch “Come Dancing” a ballroom competition show here on a Friday night. The gowns, the hairdos, ththe-great-waltze suits, the precision! I also loved listening to the Strauss waltzes and remember being dazzled by the movie, The Great Waltz, and the romanticism of a ball room filled with swaying dancers in exquisitely tailored ball gowns and jewelled or embroidered slippers and dripping with glittering jewellery, the men…well, let’s face it, it’s really all about the dresses, isn’t it?

 

And speaking of dresses, do you have plans to wear anything special on Christmas Day? I used to spend probably about as long searching for the ‘right’ outfit for Christmas Day as I did gifts! Nowadays, it’s more a case of whatever still fits and has an expanding waistband to accommodate the excesses of Christmas Day fare.

 

Hmm, considering the nine ladies dancing are supposed to be representative of the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and the biggie SELF-CONTROL, maybe I should wear something that doesn’t stretch with the day, just to remind me.

 

Tell me what you’re planning to wear on Christmas Day, or what you’d like to wear (we’re all allowed a little fantasy) if you had the money, the climate, the figure–whatever!

cmih-small 

One randomly drawn comment will receive a copy of my February release, the first in my Rogue Diamonds Trilogy, CONVENIENT MARRIAGE, INCONVENIENT HUSBAND, together with a very cute paua shell inlaid Kiwi phone charm.

(please note, I haven’t received my author copies yet so I can’t guarantee you the book before January but will send it through as soon as it is available)

14
Dec
08

on the eighth day of Christmas…

We meet Modern Heat author, Anna Cleary!

“Hello there, gorgeous Desirabelles. How thrilled and honoured I feel to have been invited to join your Chridwca0hsg8xcamoyg4ncal4c5zucaffw88vcafv9ekwcawmrgtrcaw109ylcas9hp81carjkav6ca3sbvzfcam0iry8cag0shzycaw4ezujca35afxkcank0fd2calvh14wcagnih3pca3yfbh2cawnl9ud1stmas celebration!
For me Christmas is powerfully wrapped up with memories of my mother. She loved it all so much, the gift shopping for children and grandchildren, the secret wrapping bouts behind closed doors, tinselling the house and trimming the tree, gathering her family around her.
The Clearys hailed from Newcastle, and if you know that lovely sea-side city, you’ll know there are some strong traditions there about what constitutes fine cookery. Mum was a proud contender in the fruit cake and plum pudding stakes.beca04haeeca0ssctuca36p4g2cax25z80caqhh58ycafcz369ca6joilvca5na46zcas72y24ca2u9yzdcaoz21m6ca9aeh7hcasyf3t1caadr4flca4zu9yjca0pjinxcav4asomcamo0xhgcauhkl8p
Every year, from my earliest memories, there was no more significant moment in our family than the annual cutting of the cake.
The size of a small car, it would be lifted down from the sacred place where it had been developing its flavours for weeks. After being taken reverently from its outer container, the various wrappings would be parted—it wore more veils than Salome – and the gathered spectators would exclaim in awed unison when its beauty was revealed, inhaling and closing our eyes to savour that rich, heady aroma.images-cake

Rum, almonds, cherries, brandy, fruit, ginger… Ahh. Intoxicating. To me this will always be the smell of Christmas.
Now for the cutting. Everyone would stand back for Mum to do the honours.
The outer slice would be lain to rest, unmolested, while the next layer in was the testing point. We’d hold out our plates to receive our thickish chunks, redolent of the booze the fruit had been steeped in, and then would come the tasting.
Are there words to describe that dark richness, so mellow on the tongue? Not too moist, not too dry. Neither too sweet nor too piquant. Nutty, fruity, but never too much of either. Aromatic, fragrant…
The compliments would flow, and Mum would glow.
Oh, she was a wonderful cook.

I think many mothers have a special family Christmas cake baking secret. Care to share? I’d love to hear some of them. And in honour of all the great 51eic4t6v0l__ss500_ubuv1mothers of the world I would be delighted to give away a copy of my book currently gracing the bookshelves in the UK. It’s called Untamed Billionaire, Undressed Virgin, and while it might not sound exactly like a Christmas story, it is all about family love and connectedness, and wired for wish fulfilment.

Merry Christmas…
Anna Cleary”
http://www.annacleary.com