Archive Page 2

14
Feb
09

most romantic moments

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Bron: I was going to talk about the most romantic moment I’ve experienced but today, while collecting my bunch of perfect rose buds from the florist, I heard about a sweet romantic gesture and I just had to share. 14th wedding anniversary. Lovely man arranges with a florist to deliver 14 single roses to his wife at work, one by one, half an hour apart. Each rose has a single letter attached. The first is I. The second is S, the third T, I, L, L, L, O, V, E, Y, O, U ! A simple, perfect sentiment but how much more romantic is that than a bunch of 14 roses with the
same message attached?
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Paula: For romance, you can’t go past the candlelit dinner or unexpected flowers.  But it’s the little gestures that make up the big romantic picture for me – making dinner after a long day, watching House with you when he could be watching  cricket on the other TV, putting together that new Ikea bookshelf even though you’re perfectly capable of doing it yourself.  Holding hands is incredibly romantic, too! For those who’re romantically challenged, Askmen.com has a top 10 list of “small gestures that turn women on” (interesting men use ‘turn on’ and we use ‘romantic’ <vbg>!)  they are:
Organize a sexy scavenger hunt
Tell her she’s beautiful
Write a handwritten letter
Take her out for lunch
Cook her favorite dish
Take her on an ‘official’ date
Buy her a token present
Dance with her
Give her a flower
Pamper her

Scoffee_heart22andra: I don’t have just one special most romantic moment. But a regular small, touching supply. Every weekend, my husband, who is the most practical and pragmatic and generally unromantic person I know, makes me my morning latte. And every time he uses a little gizmo and sprinkles a chocolate heart on my coffee (all neatly aligned because he’s a builder, after all). And every time my own heart melts just a little.

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Robbie: Here’s something from “the younger generation”. On New Year’s Eve, my daughter went to a party given by the boy who had always liked her in high school. His parent’s house is on acreage, and just before midnight he asked her to walk with him through the paddocks. Along the way, horses began to follow. One nuzzled at her shoulder, as if to push her along. They arrived at an area where a picnic blanket was laid out before two flaming torches. Did the night end in a kiss? I have a feeling that it did.

 
 
 

 

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Share with us your most romantic moment (or one you’ve heard of) for a chance to win a copy of Robyn’s latest Harlequin release, Naughty Nights in the Millionaire’s Mansion.

 

 

08
Feb
09

Sandra Hyatt – With Questions

My big day is coming soon, (if you call July soon, which given the speed with which January vanished could well be, like, tomorrow). The day when my very first Desire, will hit the shelves, and actual live people can buy it…or not.

 

It’s both very exciting and very scary, and frankly, I’m leaning a little toward the scary side. I’ve done my part, I wrote the book. Then, once my wonderful editor at Desire bought it I more or less waved good bye to it.  Harlequin (after asking for suggestions) chose a title for it – Having The Billionaire’s Baby, they’ll design a cover, and they’ll write the back cover blurb. So at this point in time I have no idea what it’ll look like when it’s sitting there on the shelf, and what it will say on the back.

 

So, here comes a question. How much do things like title, and cover image and back cover blurb, effect your choice of whether to pick up a book and buy it? I tend to be a back cover blurb and read the first page kind of gal. How about you?

 

Do you pick up the one with best looking hero on the cover? Conversely are there things on a cover that can put you off? A blonde hero? A moustache? I’ve seen some absolutely gorgeous and luscious covers and some…not so gorgeous.

 

Same with the title, what grabs you, billionaire, pregnant, Sheik? And is there anything that can put you off? Billionaire, pregnant, Sheik?

 

Ditto with the back cover blurb, how much does it influence your decision to buy? What intrigues you? What makes you slot it back into place on the shelf and pick up the next one?

 

So even though I have very little say in these things I’d really like to know what you all think. And then I’d really, really like to see how mine is going to look.

 

01
Feb
09

I love February!

Let me tell you why…

 

It’s my birthday month (which, just quietly, makes it the best month of the year 😉 ) and, its the first month of release for my Rogue Diamonds mini-series. How did Rogue Diamonds come about as a title for the mini-series? Well, with this year being the 60th anniversary of Harlequin/Silhouette in the USA, it led me to thinking of diamonds. To be honest it really doesn’t take much to get me thinking of diamonds…I do like sparklies, 😀

 

So, anyway, when dreaming up the series I thought of old school buddies who have remained close friends but who liked to play a little on the wild side.

 

The past:

 

“All of the students in your year are diamonds…some polished, some still a little rough. All, except you three. You, sirs, are rogues!”

 

So said Thomas Woodley, the favourite professor of Brent Colby, Adam Palmer and Draco Sandrelli, after he caught them demon riding (high speed runs on their motorbikes on dangerous roads at night with no headlights on) when they should have been at their private boarding school’s honours ceremony.

 

The present:

The Rogue Diamonds are drawn together for the memorial service of Prof. Woodley’s late wife, and after the service two of them are thrown into contact with women they never expected to see again.

 

So, who are the Rogue Diamonds?

 

convenient-marriage-inconvenient-husbandBrent Colby (CONVENIENT MARRIAGE, INCONVENIENT HUSBAND, US Feb 09, Aus/NZ Mar 09) was always the bad boy at school and the one who instigated most of the boys’ adventures. He’s the ‘scholarship boy’ from the poorer side of the family and he always felt he had something to prove. An innovative man, he fell headlong into his first million dollars only to lose it just as fast. Unfortunately, at the same time, he also lost the woman he loved. With his exceptional drive and entrepreneurial skills he’s rebuilt his world, bigger better and far stronger than before, but he’s never forgotten the woman who chose money over his love. When she fronts up to him in the men’s room of the Jubilee Hall at Ashurst Collegiate, he’s more than intrigued about why.

 

secretbabyDraco Sandrelli (SECRET BABY, PUBLIC AFFAIR, US Mar 09, Aus/NZ Apr 09) is the sole surviving son of Italian aristrocracy and lives in the Sandrelli ancestral palazzo in the Tuscan countryside. A natural charmer, he’s had it all, but he learned loss at its most painful level when his fiancee died of a congential heart defect while pregnant with his baby. A short and fiery affair with a New Zealand girl, Blair Carson, touring his homeland has an unexpected repercussion when he discovers Blair is catering the memorial service at Ashurst Collegiate. He wasn’t ready to let her go the first time, he certainly isn’t ready to let her go now, especially not when he discovers she’s carrying his child.

 

pretend-mistress-bona-fide-bossAdam Palmer (PRETEND MISTRESS, BONA FIDE BOSS, US Apr 09, Aus/NZ May 09) is a workaholic. The survivor of twin sons born to the powerful billionaire Palmers, he’s been groomed to take over the running of the family business. All his life he’s only felt as if he was half of what his parents were due and works darn hard to make up for that by being twice as good at everything. His office is run with incredible precision at all times yet somehow secrets are being filtered out to his arch rival, Josh Tremont. When Adam discovers his assistant, Lainey Delacorte, is hiding the truth about herself, he’s determined to get the bottom of her deception and discover if she’s responsible for the information leaks–no matter what it takes.

 

So, do you want to win an autographed copy of the first of the Rogue Diamonds, CONVENIENT MARRIAGE, INCONVENIENT HUSBAND? All you need to do is comment on this blog and hazard a guess at what day my birthday is. If you get it right I’ll include a cute paua shell inlaid kiwi phone charm with your book. If there’s more than one correct answer by the end of the week I’ll put each name in a hat and draw one winner. Happy February!

25
Jan
09

My Favorite Gadget

walk1I remember the first gadget that started my infatuation with technology: a cool silver and blue clip-on Sony Walkman.  Now, things have come a long way since the mid-80s and their massive packaging, with gadgets getting smaller and cleverer (remember those Nokia mobile phones the size of house bricks?).  I’ve moved on to CD Walkmans, then a generic MP3 player, to a you-beaut Toshiba Gigabeat.  I’ve upgraded my massive SLR camera to a digital (although the photo quality is just not quite the same as a traditional camera).   For Christmas I got an e-book reader, the BeBook, and I’m thrilled to have a gadget that stores hundreds of books and weighs less than a paperback, saving masses of shelf space.

I haven’t succumb to the phone upgrade yet – I’m quite happy with my LG hot-pink flip phone because I don’t NEED to take photos, read email and surf the ‘net with it – I have said digital camera and computer for that 🙂  I also love those little USB flash drives that can hold everything from documents, photos, music and downloads… I have several 😀

mac1But all that pales by comparision to my iMac Book.  I’ve only had it for a week but I’ve in loooove with its sleek white design, speed, wireless capability and simple ease of finding what you need quickly.  Even the most simple things like the magnetic closure and power cable attachment is exciting!  Yes, I still have my big desktop PC (the very clever but slow, sensitive, unreliable long-time partner) but my little white Mac is just so fast and RELIABLE.  It’s like having an exciting, cute new love interest who actually listens to you 🙂

What’s your favorite gadget?  Is it something that’s made your life easier?  More fun?  More interesting?

18
Jan
09

Nibbles Anyone?

No, I’m not talking about food, but about reading styles. The idea came up in comments on another blog, and I thought it’d be fun to discuss it here today.

I’m one of those people who always has a book in their handbag – so I can nibble away at it whenever there’s a bit of spare time. But, at heart, and if I have the time, I’m a all-in-one-go reader. If a book catches my attention, I’ll hunker down and likely not move until it’s finished. I’ve learned not to start books at 11pm…because I’m never going to read just a chapter!

What about you? Can you nibble? Or do you gulp read? I know some people have several different books – one for the purse, one in the car… Do any of you do that? Tell us all your reading secrets! 🙂

10
Jan
09

downunder day!

Australia Day is around the corner. On January 26th Aussies celebrate their nationality, our beautiful big country and the many things we take pride in and hold dear.

 Meat pies and backyard barbies, pavlovas and vegemite toast.

Kangaroos and koalas, wattle blooms, the Great Barrier Reef and the quiet majesty of Ayres Rock.

great-barrier-reef We remember our brave diggers and “two-up”, and joke about “sheilas”, “fair dinkum” and “Crikey, mate!

 Aussies also boast incredible talent…Errol Flynn, Chips Rafferty, Peter Allen, The Bee Gees…Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman (plug: go see “Australia“!), Kylie Minogue, Crocodile Dundee, Donald Bradman, Evonne Goologong Cawley, Miles Franklin, Thomas Keneally, Tim Winton. Colleen McCullough…

ash-and-me-at-lone-pine2We’ve come a long way since Henry Lawson waxed lyrical about “the bush”. In the twenty-first century, Downunder writers are rocking the romance publishing world. I’m proud to be a part of the wave.

I have an Australia beach towel, sun cap and other fun Aussie stuff to give away, including a latest release. Just share with us what you love about Australia, where you’d like to visit or maybe who you’d like to meet (yeah, as if we don’t already know, lol).

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04
Jan
09

Tempting the Devil AND Anna Campbell

This week our guest is ANNA CAMPBELL, down-under author of hugely popular and always-desirable historical romances for Avon. Her first two novels, Claiming the Courtesan and Untouched won plaudits from reviewers, readers and contest judges–both were RITA finalists, amongst numerous other awards–and with her much anticipated Tempt the Devil now available (run, don’t walk, to grab your copy!) we invited Anna in for a quick chat over a glass or two of bubbly.

Welcome, Anna. Let’s start with a quick introduction. Who is Anna Campbell?

AC:  What can I say about Anna Campbell? International woman of mystery. Black belt in karate. Danced with the Bolshoi. Modeled for Picasso. Fought off Japanese whalers on the coast of Greenland. Worked for the CIA… Oh, you mean me? THAT Anna Campbell! Sigh. She’s much less interesting! Book nut. Always wanted to be a writer. Completed her first novel after finishing high school and then it took her 27 years to get a publishing contract (during which time she COULD have done all that other stuff!). First book came out in 2007, CLAIMING THE COURTESAN. Second book UNTOUCHED. Third book TEMPT THE DEVIL has just hit the stands in America. I live on the Sunshine Coast in subtropical Queensland in Australia.

Have you always written historical/regency era romance or have you dabbled in other genres as well?

AC: The nice thing about having 27 years to play around and experiment is that I got to try an awful lot of genres! The book I finished after high school was a medieval romance (the romance element has stayed pretty constant). I tried to write Harlequin Presents and completed eight manuscripts that will never see the light of day, a fact for which the world ought to be grateful! I tried family sagas, both contemporary and historical. I tried romantic suspense – believe me, not my strength! I tried historical romance set in a variety of periods and places including Elizabethan England, Renaissance Italy, late 19th-century Australia, 18th-century Hungary. Anything but the Regency in fact! Then one day, I sat down and wrote a comedy set in the Regency and felt like I’d come home. The period suits the way I use language and the larger than life stories I want to tell.

What is it that makes the Regency era so popular with readers?

AC: I think the Regency period is so popular largely because Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer set stories during that time! Since then, because those two writers were so influential, thousands of books have been set in the Regency and I think readers love the familiarity of it now. The Regency is popular because of the clothes (especially the men’s!), the elegance, the wit, the style. Not to mention that anyone who married in the Regency in the British Isles had a long period of peace and prosperity to look forward to. So the happy ending could be just that! The Regency is long enough ago to still have that fairytale flavour that historical romance readers love. But it’s also modern in many ways – there was a proto feminism, for example, the rise of companionate marriage as the ideal, the industrial revolution, people speaking in a way that’s generally intelligible to a modern reader.

Your books have been described as “regency noir”; how would you describe your style?

AC:  I love that phrase ‘Regency noir’. Stephanie Laurens coined it when she gave me a quote for CLAIMING THE COURTESAN. It makes me smile to realize it’s since become the name for a whole genre of darker historicals. I think the books I’m writing now are dark and tackle powerful themes. Regency noir for some reason also makes me think of dark, delicious chocolate – and I hope my books are a luscious, sensual experience too!

Tell us about your new book, Tempt the Devil? What will tempt us inside that cover (which is gorgeously tempting, BTW)?

AC: I’m billing TEMPT THE DEVIL as a Regency noir AFFAIR TO REMEMBER. It tells the love story of Olivia Raines, London’s most notorious courtesan, and the infamous rake, the Earl of Erith. Falling in love is the greatest risk these two jaded, sophisticated people can take. Hey, thanks for saying that about the cover – it’s pretty delicious, isn’t it? I’m hoping that aside from the cover, the rich sensuality and deep emotions of this story will tempt you! Not to mention that I actually got to write some banter between my hero and heroine. That was fun and took me back to when I used to write comedy!

Courtesans: are they the new black? (And did you start the new fashion?)

AC:  LOL. I’m not sure if I started it. I’ve certainly noticed more courtesans gracing the pages of historical romance. I do think modern readers like a more sexually experienced heroine. Mind you, I’ve just handed in my fourth book and it features my first virginal heroine so I’m hoping readers like the younger, sweeter ones too!

What temptations can’t you resist?

AC:  Sadly, far too many! A good book. Smith’s barbecue chips. My email inbox! Etc. Etc.

We know you read widely and often; what do you look for/get from a good book?

AC:  Oh, I’m still a voracious reader but sadly, since I’ve been published, I don’t seem to have nearly as much time to lose myself in a great story. I look for something that sweeps me away to another world. I love a writer whose words sing to me – Shana Abe comes to mind! I like something that engages my brain and my heart. I want to believe in those characters so strongly, it’s like they’re flesh and blood, and I want to be sorry when I close the cover on the last page because I’m leaving a place where life was vivid and engrossing.

What was your best read of 2008?

AC:  What a great question! I love to talk about great books. I re-read Laura Kinsale’s FLOWERS FROM THE STORM for a review and rediscovered what a masterpiece it is. I hadn’t read it since I bought it in the mid-90s and it was a revelation just how much depth and intelligence and emotion that book contains. Otherwise I’ve read great books by Annie West, Christine Wells, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Tawny Weber, Nicola Cornick and Madeline Hunter. New authors I’ve discovered and now love are Elizabeth George, C.S. Harris, J.D. Robb and Kathleen O’Reilly.

What are you looking forward to in 2009?

AC:  The first thing is the release of TEMPT THE DEVIL. I didn’t have a book out in 2008 so it’s been a while between drinks! I’m looking forward to getting to grips with the new story. I’m looking forward to visiting Washington for the RWA National Conference in July. In Australia, I’m looking forward to the Australian Romance Readers Convention in Melbourne in February and the Romance Writers of Australia Conference in Brisbane in August. I love to catch up with readers and my romance-writing friends.

What can we expect next from Anna Campbell?

AC:  My next release is in November 2009 and it’s another Regency noir (the virginal heroine story). As yet, it hasn’t got an official title but the book’s all approved and at Avon. It’s about a runaway heiress who finds shelter with a man suffering from PTSD after being tortured in India. A lot of this book is set in Cornwall and I had great fun writing the house which is like Manderley in REBECCA. The book I’m currently working on is, like TEMPT THE DEVIL, set in London and it’s one of those “oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive” stories.

Thank you, Anna. As always it’s been a delight to sit and chat. We’re all looking forward to reading about Olivia and Erith, and wishing we were eligible for this week’s giveaway. :-/ That would be an autographed copy of TEMPT THE DEVIL, awarded a TOP PICK! by Romantic Times and described as “an unforgettable powerhouse romance.” Read more at Anna’s fabulous website.

Talk to us about your greatest temptation at the moment — have you discovered a new favourite author you can’t get enough of, a new TV fascination, a new shop, chocolate, wine? — and you’ll be in the draw to win. (One entry per IP address; winner drawn Jan. 10.)