Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What happened to Christmas?

I love my city at Christmas time. While most Jo'burgers make the annual pilgrimage to the coast, the streets empty, the weather is warm and sunny, and I get to spend lazy days just hanging out at home with the family.

At least that's the way I always remember it.

Every year I forget the mad rush that is those last few days before Christmas. No matter how prepared I think I am, Christmas Eve always seems to be spent driving from mall to mall to find that one last item on the shopping list, standing in long queues at tills, then chasing the kids because we're running late for church.

Is it like this for everyone, or is is just me?

So here I am at the end of Christmas Day, finally sitting with my feet up and enjoying a glass of wine in front of the TV, relaxed at last. (Though it's been raining for several hours, the way it does every year. Why do I never remember that part?)

Since I'm connecting to the internet for the first time in days, here are belated best wishes for a wonderful, relaxing holiday season, from all of us Minxes to you. And if you celebrate Christmas: Merry Christmas!

Courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net


Friday, December 21, 2012

Blaze Anthology Teasers and a Gift for the Holidays

The Minxes have a special gift to readers everywhere for Christmas!! Our Blaze Anthology is going to be free over the weekend and in case, you're still thinking about downloading it, we have teasers from all eight stories here....

Romy Sommer, The Fire Inside

Ryan paid for the drinks and raised his glass. “And I’m guessing you’re a careful woman.”
She matched his toast. “I take care I don’t get burned.”

Maya Blake, Memory’s Flame

"We were friends long before we became lovers, Ellie," Jake rasped.
"I could seduce you into spending the next five days in my bed so we can relive the lovers' part of our history. But I don't think I can survive you walking away again if I let that happen."

Sally Clements, Lighting Love’s Spark

Daniel lifted her hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles.
The breath left Annabel’s lungs, and instantly all she could think of was his mouth trailing slowly down her neck. Heat pooled in her stomach.

Lorraine Wilson, A Kindling Romance

“Promise me something Drew.”
“What?”
“Promise you're not filming me on your mobile and this is going to be all over YouTube in the morning?” Polly was dimly aware her question was insulting. This guy was a professional and rules were rules, even out here in the sticks.
“Trust me,” the calm, deep voice replied.
Something in the warm tone and the firm grip on her legs made her want to do exactly that. She felt she might do anything he asked.
Anything at all.

Tara Pammi, Worth the Risk

The strength of how much he wanted to be here with Annie, how much he wanted to continue, didn’t bother Marcus at all.
“If you touch me, I can’t stop, Annie. It’s been six months and you taste like heaven and if you touch me…I swear Annie, I won’t be able to stop until I’m inside you.”
He pressed a fierce kiss again before she could even reply. Just in case she said no, in case this never happened again, and he needed to remember how erotic she tasted.

Jodie James, Hot, Bothered and Bewitched

Isaac toyed idly with the end of Seraphine’s belt as she curled her legs up beneath her. She watched his fingers for a second. He had the sort of hands you’d expect of a farrier. Strong, capable, a little bashed.
“Or we could just stay here by the fire and drink champagne,” she said.
“I like your plan better.”
She couldn’t be certain, but he seemed a smidge closer than he’d been a second or two ago.
“I could wash the blood out of your T-shirt for you, if you like.”
He looked at her for a few silent, assessing seconds, then handed her his glass to hold. “I’d like that very much.”
Seraphine’s breath caught in her throat as he reached for the hem of his faded T-shirt and peeled it unhurriedly over his head.
Christ. The way his clothes clung to his body had hinted he was in good condition, but bare-chested in the firelight, he was beyond that. He was beautiful.

Suzanna Ross, A Smouldering Attraction

Relocating to this gorgeous village had been the first move in her recovery. Having fund with this man might be the next one…
He reached out and lifted her chin so she looked into darkened gray eyes.
Her heart nearly stopped beating.
“Who was he? Is he worth denying yourself the chance of future happiness?”
When Harrison’s lips met hers in the briefest of butterfly kisses, she was quite sure it wasn’t.

Catherine Coles, Locked Into Love

Cassie swayed her hips in time to the music, watching the tell-tale muscle in his jaw jump as he tried to keep himself under control.
“Something wrong?” she asked, blinking innocently.
“What the hell are you doing?” he responded through gritted teeth.
“Dancing.”
“You’re gyrating.”
“Am not,” Cassie grinned up at him, moving her hips in a circle against his erection. “That’s gyrating.”


Blaze is available from Amazon and Amazon UK.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Breaking News: A new Minx!

The Minxes are completely thrilled to announce that we have a new Minx joining our ranks!

Since the success of Fifty Shades and Bared to You, we've toyed with the idea of inviting an erotica author into our midst, and we are delighted that KITTY FRENCH, author of Knight & Play, currently in the Top 100 on the Amazon fiction charts, has accepted our invitation.

Please join us in welcoming Kitty, make her feel at home - and don't forget to buy the first book in her Knight Series, available from Amazon and Amazon UK.

Did I mention that as I write this, Knight & Play is currently in the Top 100 on Amazon? The book has only been on sale for two weeks, and has already reached #8 on the Kindle Erotica charts, with literally dozens of 5-star reviews!

You can chat to Kitty on Twitter or Facebook, or follow her blog.She also has a Knight & Play Pinterest board.

Kitty, thanks so much for joining the Minxes and we hope you enjoy being part of the group.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Author Spotlight - Barbara Freethy

The Minxes are delighted to have #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy here today, to answer the minx questions!
She's much too modest to blow her own trumpet, so I'm doing it for her.

Barbara started in traditional publishing then moved on to self publish, and since then, she hasn't looked back. An interview on Kirkus Reviews in the summer stated : Barbara Freethy is the No. 1 New York Times Bestselling author of 30 novels ranging from contemporary romance to women’s fiction and romantic suspense. Her books have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, and she is a five-time RITA finalist from Romance Writers of America for best contemporary romance. In 2011, she began self-publishing and has since sold over 2.6 million ebooks. For more information, visit Barbara’s website at barbarafreethy.com.
Since then, Barbara has become the first ever Indie author to sell over a million books on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and in October her ever-rising sales numbers has reached 2.7 million since January 2011. If that wasn't enough, I can also attest to the fact that she's a totally lovely person! So, over to her...here come the minxy questions....

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I'm married with two children and live in California. I love to read as much as I love to write, so I have the perfect job!
What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
I'm getting ready to release my 34th book, ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS (The Callaways, #1) on Christmas day.
Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
Writing is hard, so there are many days when I would rather go shopping. But writing books and publishing them is my career, so I can't afford to take time off work. Like all jobs, you have to work through bad days. I do find that re-reading what I've written the day before gets me in the mood to write. I also find that if I can end my day of writing with some notes on where I want to begin the next day, I don't have as much trouble getting started. But writing is like exercising. If you let too many days go by, it's like you're starting all over again. Writing a little every day keeps the story in my head and makes it a little easier to stay on track.
What is your top promo tip for other authors?
My top promo tip is don't spend all your time on promo – write another book. The best way to develop a long-term career and to sell more copies of each title is to have more titles to sell. You want to build on the success of each book and develop a fan base.
That said, I do think social media is important as well as a website. You need to be able to interact with your readers and to build a focused newsletter list and your website and social media presence will help you do that. But don't spend more than 25% of your time on promo. Keep writing!
How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
I believe in having some balance in life. When I'm not on a hard deadline, I make time for friends and exercise. I like to walk in the mornings and also find that's a good time to think. When the book has to be done in a month, I'm writing all the time and not doing anything else.
Any craft books you recommend?
I really like some of the craft books written by literary agent Donald Maass, which include THE FIRE IN FICTION and WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL. I think he has some good ideas about story. But there are lots of wonderful books out there.
What was the most fun part of writing your new book?
ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS is the first book in my new contemporary romance series, The Callaways, about a big, blended Irish family, born to serve and protect. The hero is a smokejumper, and the heroine was the girl next door. I love their romance, but it also wouldn't be a Barbara Freethy book if I didn't complicate it with legends and mystery and lots of emotion!
I also recently completely a series of three books, THE WISH SERIES, including A SECRET WISH, JUST A WISH AWAY and WHEN WISHES COLLIDE. The books stand alone, but are connected by the theme of wishes. I just released a boxed set version of the Wish Series, so you can get three books for the price of one!
Have you ever written a hero you'd be happy to run off with?
I'd like to run off with ALL my heroes. Don't tell my husband that! But seriously, I couldn't write about a hero I didn't love in some way. So they're all fun!
At what point in your career did you actually start to feel like you were a writer?
Great question! I think the very first time I finished a novel, I felt like a writer, because it takes a lot of stamina and focus to write that many pages and put together characters and plot. There was a tremendous sense of accomplishment getting to the end and it's a feeling that's repeated with every book I write.
Do you have any tips, tricks or sacrificial rituals you do when you hit a story roadblock?
When you get stuck in your story, there's something wrong. So I try to back up, see where I went off course, and then I look at the scene I'm in and ask myself a couple of questions: Is this scene being told from the right character's point of view? What else could happen in this scene that would change everything? What's at stake in the story at this particular moment? How can I surprise the reader? Just trying to answer those questions usually helps get me unstuck!
ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS (Callaways, #1) will be released on 12/25/12
In the meantime, you can check out my latest series, THE WISH SERIES, which includes a novella and two novels.
A SECRET WISH is about three women, three milestone birthdays, three wishes and one unforgettable night.
JUST A WISH AWAY reunites childhood sweethearts who once made a very special wish, then life and tragedy tore them apart. Years later, another mystery brings them back together.
WHEN WISHES COLLIDE brings together two people at a fountain. Both desperate and hoping for a miracle, they toss a coin and make a wish, but their coins collide in mid air, and they find their lives connecting in a way they never expected.  

The WISH Series, both Individual books and the special boxed set version, is available at:
Apple IBooks


ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS (Callaways #1) will go on sale December 25, 2012.
Thanks for having me!

Find out more about Barbara and her books at her website here.
Thanks so much for visiting the Minxes today, Barbara, and for your answers to our questions!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: The Price of Success

The advantage of belonging to a critique group as large as the Minxes, is that when life gets hectic and one of your CPs needs their manuscript read, there's always someone else able to stepin and you're not under pressure to do a critique.

Which is how I managed to read Maya's The Price of Success completely fresh, just as a reader, and without having to think of things like sentence structure or character inconsistencies.

As a reader, I loved this book. As I said in my previous post, it's set in the world of motor racing (my favourite sport), with a truly strong, feisty heroine (my favourite kind of heroine), and a hero I could easily fall in love with (and did).

This story has all the intensity and passion that is Maya's trademark, and she manages to keep the sensuality levels high and constant with surprisingly few actual love scenes. From cover to cover the chemistry sizzles.

As a writer, I'm very aware of saggy middles in a book, perhaps because it's the part I struggle most with. This book doesn't sag at all. The pace is unrelenting, the story and characters so gripping, that I kept turning the pages and never once felt an urge to put the book down. No wonder Maya's been getting such great reviews and made the Top 10 books of 2012 list on Harlequin Junkies.

But my biggest, number one reason for loving The Price of Success? The references to The Vampire Diaries. Read the book and see if you can spot them!

So what's next from Maya? Happily, there will be many more Maya Blake novels for you to enjoy.  Her next book, The Sinful Art of Revenge, will be available in both the UK and North America in April 2013. This is Damon and Reiko's story and features another unconventional heroine. I can't wait to get my hands on it!

The Price of Success should still be available in all brick-and-mortar stores that stock Harlequins, as well as on the Mills & Boon site, from Harlequin, Amazon and Amazon UK in both paperback and Kindle versions. However you plan to spend this holiday season, treat yourself with this read.

But don't take my word for it. Read this book and post your own review. Or leave us a comment letting us know how much you enjoyed Maya's debut novel.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Author Spotlight - Victoria Connelly

My huge apologies to Victoria, as I've been on a back foot and catching up all week, which is why this week's posts are a few days late.
But better late than never, here's Victoria Connelly.

1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

I started writing my first novel when I was fourteen and haven’t stopped since. I love films especially romantic comedies staring Doris Day, Marilyn Monroe and Gene Kelly. I usually read about four books at the same time. I adore animals and have a rescue Springer spaniel called Molly and several ex-battery hens named after characters from books by Miss Read and H E Bates! And I’m passionate about roses and have been filling our cottage garden with them since moving here last year.

2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th? (Nora only!)

Gosh – it’s complicated. Christmas with Mr Darcy is my first ebook novella and it’s the fourth in my Austen Addicts series. I’ve also had eight novels published worldwide and three collections of short stories published on Kindle. I tend to lose count!

3. Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?

I use the knowledge that I’d have to get a ‘proper’ job if I didn’t want to do this one any longer! I would much rather be making up stories than doing anything else for a living. I truly love it and that’s what keeps me going.

4. What is your top promo tip for other authors?

Write the story you most want to. You have to LOVE what you’re doing because a novel doesn’t write itself – it’s a long and lonely slog so you have to be passionate about what you’re doing. Also, don’t give up! I had so many rejections especially for my novel Flights of Angels which – after literally hundreds of rejections over many years - was published after a bidding war between five publishers and made into a film! I’m so glad I never gave up on it!

5. How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?

Writing is my passion so everything else tends to be woven around that but the animals (and occasionally the husband!) comes first and I make sure everybody has been walked/cleaned out/fed/cuddled in the morning before I lose myself in my latest novel.

6. Is there a book you haven't written yet that you're dying to? What genre?

I’d really love to write an adventure thriller with a strong female protagonist. I’ve got a few ideas and I’ve started one novel already so watch out for that!

7. Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?

I don’t have a regime as such but I keep fit naturally by walking our spaniel twice a day, looking after our hens and our beautiful garden. I’m also a member of two walking groups and love to cycle around the country lanes. All of this helps stave off the effects of hours sitting at a computer.

8. What was the most fun part of writing this book?

I loved writing Christmas with Mr Darcy because I got to meet all the characters from my Austen Addicts trilogy again. It was like catching up with old friends and I’ve had lots of lovely emails from readers who have said the same thing. I’ve always wanted to write a Christmas book too so it was wonderful to imagine the romantic setting of Purley Hall in the snow.

9. Could you be friends with any of your heroines?

One of my favourite heroines is Maggie Hamill from The Runaway Actress and I’d love to spend an evening with her – perhaps watching a girlie film like Thelma and Louise. She’s really good fun and always knows the latest gossip and we could raid her little shop for crisps and popcorn.

10. Have you ever written a hero you'd be happy to run off with?

My favourite hero is Dan Harcourt from A Weekend with Mr Darcy and Christmas with Mr Darcy. He’s tall and handsome with red-gold hair, is kind and caring and is constantly followed around by his two faithful dogs, Moby and Biscuit, and he knows how to ride a horse! Sigh!


BLURB

Christmas is being celebrated in style at Purley Hall in Hampshire because renowned actress, Dame Pamela Harcourt, is holding a special Jane Austen Conference. Everybody’s there: Katherine and Warwick, Robyn and Dan, Kay, Adam and Gemma, and Sarah and Mia. Oh, and Mrs Soames.

But, when a rare first edition of Pride and Prejudice goes missing, the guests have to forget the fun and games and turn detective...

Christmas with Mr Darcy is the light-hearted novella sequel to the bestselling Austen Addicts’ Trilogy: A Weekend with Mr Darcy, The Perfect Hero (Dreaming of Mr Darcy) and Mr Darcy Forever.

Christmas with Mr Darcy is available from Amazon and Amazon UK.



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chicken soup and the Price of Success

Our very own Maya Blake was supposed to be here on the blog this week talking up her debut Harlequin Presents novel, The Price of Success. However Maya is laid up in bed with really terrible flu, so I thought I’d step in instead.

Since I’m scheduled to post about this book next week, I’m not going to talk about this story (with its strong, smart, unconventional heroine, and very Alpha, very irresistible hero). I’m going to talk about Maya instead.

Maya is every bit as strong and sassy as the heroines she writes.
She’s a Superwoman. She has a demanding, high-powered day job, two kids, and a husband in an equally demanding day job which occasionally takes him away from home. Maya not only manages all this (like many of the other Superwomen we know) but she still makes time to write intense, emotional and very sexy romances. And I know, as I’ve been privileged to read quite a few Maya Blake stories. (You’re just going to have to be satisfied with The Price of Success and her Blaze story for now, but I promise you won’t have to wait long. There’s more Maya Blake goodness coming your way soon).

Maya is a not a woman who messes around. She’s been known to pull all-nighters to write when she’s inspired (or on a deadline) and you know that anyone who goes to a hectic day job after writing all night is seriously crazy dedicated.

She also doesn’t let any of us Minxes mess around either. Maya is the wielder of the Big Minxy Stick. The Stick may be virtual but it’s still scary, and it’s been known to whip at least one Minxy butt back into line. If any of us is suffering from a case of Acute Procrastination, Maya’s Big Stick is the wonder cure.

Maya is also our staunchest defender, ready to leap in with that Big Stick in our hour of need. Have any Crows of Doubt, dodgy exes, or pesky cold callers you need dealing with? Just call Maya.
So now, in her time of need, I’m going to ask all our Minxy friends and blog readers to join me in creating a wonder cure for Maya’s flu.

We’re going to make her feel better by telling her how much we love her book. If you haven’t read it yet (and why not? It’s been on sale in stores and e-stores everywhere for at least a week!) then tell us why you loved the blurb and/or cover so much that you just have to read it.

I’m going to start by saying that I love The Price of Success because it’s set against a motor racing background and like Maya I’m a massive fan of Formula One motor racing. My fanship was guaranteed before I even opened my copy and read the dedication!

So why do you love The Price of Success? And remember that every comment is a virtual bowl of chicken soup, so keep them coming.

And don't forget - The Price of Success is available direct from Mills & Boon, Amazon and Amazon UK.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Author Spotlight - Katherine Garbera

We are delighted to welcome Desire author Katherine Garbera into the Minxy Spotlight today to talk about her new release, Calling all the Shots.

1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
The USA Today best-selling author of more than 59 books (including 9 for Kensington Brava) Katherine Garbera is a two-time Maggie Winner. Her ripped-from-the-headlines July 2010 release The Pirate was picked by Cosmo as its Red Hot Read. Katherine’s latest release CALLING ALL THE SHOTS is the third book in her acclaimed Matchmakers, Inc. series. She is a Florida native who grew up to travel the globe. Katherine makes her home in the Midlands of the UK with her husband, two children and a very spoiled miniature Dachshund.

2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
59TH!

3. Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
I use a timer and reward system. So I put my timer on for 10 minutes and write as many words as I can and then I set it for another 10 minutes and I can do something fun like FB or a game.

4. What is your top promo tip for other authors?
Write the best book you can. All the promo in the world won't help if readers don't like your book.

5. How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
I write from 9-3 Monday through Friday. It's my routine and I like the structure.

6. Do you write every day?
Sort of. I write Monday-Friday and on the weekends I might take time to write a five page scene but usually I take Saturday and Sunday off.

7. Is there a book you haven't written yet that you're dying to? What genre?
I'm aching to write a gothic romance with a big scary house. 

8. Any craft books you recommend?
Dwight Swain's Techniques of the Selling Writer is still my favorite.

9. What was the most fun part of writing this book?
The most fun in writing this book was the chance to visit with the characters from the first two Matchmakers, Inc. books. It is always so fun to go back into a story world that I've already created.

10. Just for fun: a year from the end of the book, where would your couple go on holiday?
Jack and Willow would go to Venice. I just visited there this summer and I think it would be perfect for them. Europeans are different about celebrities so I think Jack would blend into the crowds and I know he'd love the chance to spoil Willow by arranging a private tour of the different art collections in the city.

11. Have you ever written a hero you'd be happy to run off with?I've never written one that I wouldn't run off with. A long time ago I heard an author (I think it was Linda Howard) say that if you can't fall in love with your hero no one else will either. And I've taken that to heart and always tried to imbue my heroes with qualities that I find attractive--intelligence, humor and the ability to make his woman feel like she's the only one in the world.

12. At what point in your career did you actually start to feel like you were a writer?
When my first book hit the shelves. It was something to go into the bookstore and see my name on the book cover. I took my mom with me and we took a bunch of pictures. 


Candid Camera

The irony of working on a matchmaking reality TV show hosted by the guy who broke her heart in high school has producer Willow Stead tied in knots. Not only that, but Jack Crown even has the nerve to ask her out. Should she risk taking him up on his offer?

The girl can’t help it!
Jack sees Willow Stead all grown up and has to have her. Soon, passions erupt that rival the drama on the show. But does Willow have a trick up her sleeve that will throw the celebrity pitchman a major curveball?

Calling all the Shots is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

You can find out more about Katherine on her website or follow her on Twitter.

* * *

Katherine is giving away a $10 gift card for Amazon.com. All you need to do to stand a chance to win is tell us what your favorite holiday thing is: the food, the pressies, seeing family - or maybe being thankful they only see them once a year?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Ten Writing Snacks

One of the questions in my Minxy interview was to do with writing snacks. I named a few, but really, I have many, many favourites...

Here are my current top ten:

1. Violet Creams
2. Thornton's Fruit Creams
3. Orange Matchmakers
4. Chocolate Raisins (these are great - eat enough and they can count towards your five-a-day)
5. Milky Bar White Chocolate Buttons
6. Cadbury's Chocolate Buttons
7. Thornton's Vanilla Truffles
8. M&S Ginger Chocolate Biscuits
9. Fry's Chocolate Cream
10.Sour Cream and Chive Pringles

Fry's Chocolate Cream would have been at the top, but you need two hands to handle the wrapper and break bits off - one-handed snacks are much more conducive to fast typing.

Do you agree with my choices? What's your own favourite keyboard snack?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Author Spotlight - Suzanna Ross


More Minx success? Hey, why not? I'm delighted to welcome another minx to the author spotlight spot today, yes, it's lovely Suz, also known as Suzanne Jones/Suzanna Ross Jones! Suz's new release, Trust in Me, has had a paper release as a My Weekly pocket novel in the summer, and is now available on Amazon as an ebook!

Now, straight on to the questions:
Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I’ve written for as long as I can remember, but only started to be published regularly a few years ago. Funnily enough, around the time I met the Minxes. I wonder if there’s a connection.
I write short stories, articles...anything, really, but my first love is romance.
I live in Scotland, not far from Edinburgh. With dramatic hills, mysterious lochs and romantic castles on my doorstep, I can’t help but be inspired.

What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
First book published. Nth written. I honestly can’t remember how many manuscripts I’ve finished – I have a submissions book that goes back a number of years, but I know there were at least a couple before I started keeping records.

Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
I’m never tempted to buy shoes – I have horrible feet. Honestly. I was so disappointed not to get a part in the new Hobbit film because they wouldn’t have needed make-up (although, thankfully, they’re not hairy). You’re right, though, it is very difficult to write some days and I find ideas need to stew: I can’t force a story and I have to let it form in its own time

What is your top promo tip for other authors?
I’m afraid I don’t have any tips for promo – I’m still trying to find my own way. If anyone has any advice for me I’d be very grateful.

How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
Between a two-hour-a-day school run and the day job, writing has to fit in around me at the moment. I dream of a time I can sit at home in lounging pyjamas and please myself – which would mean I’d write – but I suspect that’s a long way off.

Do you write every day?I think about my wip every day. And that’s sort of writing, isn’t it? I did start a spreadsheet at the beginning of the year, to keep a note of my daily totals. There are gaps for days where I haven’t actually increased my word count, but I’ve managed just over 140,000 words since 1st January. And they’re mostly redrafted, ready to go/sold words, so I’m happy with that.

What was the most fun part of writing this book? 
Finishing it. I don’t know who said ‘I don’t like writing, but I like having written,’ but that’s much how I feel at times. Actually, forget that, the fun moments have to be when I got the covers. And I’m very lucky that this particular book will have three covers in total: The My Weekly Pocket Novel cover, the E-scape e-version cover – and, sometime next year, the large print cover. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of the thrill of seeing a cover with my name on it for the first time. Is that sad?

Have you ever written a hero you'd be happy to run off with?
Yes, my Biker Boy, Nick Rudd. Even though he’s way too young and he’s spoken for. Well, actually, I wouldn’t do that to his lovely heroine, Emma. But, if he was free, I’d run off with him in a heartbeat. He’ll be hitting the shelves in the pages of a My Weekly/Bridges&Knight Caress novel in January. And I hope to have him online at some point after that. Although I’m a little worried people won’t love him as much as I do.

Writing snacks – what are your favourites?
Today, my writing snack of choice is a big bag of Starburst. Normally it would be something chocolate. And, if anyone’s offering, I’m in the mood to accept a box of violet creams. (And then I wonder why I’m fat.)

Do you have any tips, tricks or sacrificial rituals you do when you hit a story roadblock?
If I’m really stuck, I’ll put the story to one side and work on something else. Short stories, normally. The subconscious is generally wonderful and I find that if I don’t fret about the problem, the answer will arrive as if by magic.

Thank you so much for having me here today. It’s odd being on this side of things, but it’s been fun, too.
You can find out more:
On my own blog: here 

When faced with the prospect of being thrown out her home by a handsome stranger, Rosie Farnham's solution is to refuse to budge. Never mind that multi-millionaire Theo has every right to demand vacant possession - or that he's as gorgeous as sin - she will not leave her home just because he's brandishing ownership papers.


As Rosie refused to move out of the Manor, Theo decides he'll move in. This is no great hardship - even though she's prickly as a hedgehog, there's something about Rosie he finds intriguing.


Can the undeniable attraction between them bring their lives into a new stage?
Trust In Me is available from: Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com




Monday, November 19, 2012

An Innocent Abroad - A Minxy Release & Giveaway

We're thrilled to announce a new Minx release!
An Innocent Abroad is the latest release by our very own, very talented Minx, Rae Summers (aka Romy Sommer), and we know you're going to love it as much as we do! With every copy you get a super sexy Italian hero.

Blurb
An Innocent Abroad is a coming of age story set on the Amalfi coast of Italy in the early 1920s.

Fresh from finishing school, Isobel Harrington is sent to spend the summer in Italy with cousins in order to catch the eye of the eligible Hon. Christopher Barrett. But rather than Christopher, it is enigmatic Italian Stefano who awakens Isobel's sensuality, and who introduces her to the daring new idea that anything is possible, if only you want it enough.

An Innocent Abroad is the third novella by Rae Summers (aka Romy Minx) set in the 1920s.

Buy Links
Available from
The Wild Rose Press, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, Amazon and Amazon UK.

If you'd like to join in the Minxy celebration and be in the running to win a copy of An Innocent Abroad all you need to do is leave a comment below and share something about your own first love. The best story wins a copy of Romy's latest release and there are bonus points for anyone who's first love was either a dashing Italian or occurred during a vacation in Italy.

Congratulations, Romy!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Author Spotlight - Gwen Kirkwood

Today we welcome UK author and RNA member Gwen Kirkwood into the Minxy Spotlight.

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I have always loved reading and with a vivid imagination writing seemed a natural progression, although I did not write for publication until my children were at secondary school in the 1980’s. I entered a competition in Woman’s Weekly. I didn’t win but I received welcome encouragement from their fiction editor. My books all have a Scottish farming background because I have been connected with farming all my life. I had a six year gap from writing when my husband died suddenly. I am supposedly retired now that my son runs the farm and my daughter runs her own farm ice cream parlour. You can read more details on my website at www.gwenkirkwood.co.uk

What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th? (Nora only!)
My twenty second novel will be published in May 2013.

Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
I try to stop writing at a point when it will be easier to carry on the story. Sometimes this may be only a few words jotted down to jog my memory and keep the thread going for the next chapter or passage. If this does not work or if I have had a break for a few days I go back and read the last couple of chapters or so and then I am usually eager to keep on writing.

What is your top promo tip for other authors?
I am not good at marketing or promoting my own books. I am trying to accept invitations to other blogs, like this today. I keep appointments to talk to groups, even though they may not have much interest in writing. Usually some of them are keen readers. I have had a website for some time and more recently a blog of my own. I have also formatted ten of my early books and uploaded them to Amazon and Smashwords but I should try harder with promotion.

How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
When I first began writing family and farm life was hectic and had to come first so writing was fitted in when I could snatch time and peace. That did not stop my brain working on the plot or characters though. When ironing, or other tasks I dislike, my mind created the bad characters and I always had a notebook and pencil handy. Often passages would come to me when I lay in bed ready to sleep. These days I am supposed to be retired and I have more time but not as much energy as I would like so I write in the mornings, and perhaps read through or add extras in the late afternoon.

Do you write every day?
I try to write a little everyday even if it is only a couple of paragraphs, or even a sentence, but there is usually at least one day in the week when life intervenes. I would not want it to be any other way because we all need friends and family and other interests or both life and writing could become dull.

Is there a book you haven't written yet that you're dying to? What genre?
I would quite like to write a book for children 6 to 9 year olds. I did try once before I began writing for adults. It had animals which talked and at the time Walker Books considered that old fashioned. As with everything fashions change. Consider all the popular talking animal programs on television now.

Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?
I don’t have a fitness programme but I am careful not to sit too long at a stretch as I have two chipped vertebrae and once suffered badly from RSI. I moved my office upstairs so I have to run up and down. I enjoy gardening and that helps keep me fit in summer (see my blog www.gwenkirkwood.blogspot.com)

I used to walk a lot and ought to do more. On the principle that every little helps I park the car in one place and walk to all the shops, rather than moving it from one end of town to the other (ours is a small town!). My grandchildren live near and also keep me active.

In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?
It has taken me a long time to feel that I am a writer and I really believed that all I had to do was let my imagination run riot and write. In reality there are so many restrictions or demands. Some publishers will only take certain genres, or they may have set lengths, or other demands and deadlines. Most writers need an agent but that means less direct communication with the publisher. I do understand that publishing is a commercial business and I believe it is more difficult than it used to be, but it is also worse from a writer’s point of view when there are fewer publishers. On the other hand times are changing yet again with digital books and self- publishing. Whatever route we take we are expected to market our products. I had not bargained for that when I began writing and it is the aspect I dislike most.

Could you be friends with any of your heroines?
Yes, at least I should hope so since I created them. One of my favourites is Sarah in the Fairlyden series. We see her through all the stages of life from a child in book1 to a grandparent in book 4. Although she is not the main heroine in all of them we see her as a young woman falling in love in book 2, and later dealing with the frustrations of an absent, unsettled husband and the temptations which follow. She is kind and wise, but with human frailties and she has great strength of character.

Another Home - Another Love

Rosemary Palmer-Farr loves farming and animals and has spent much of her childhood at Bengairney Farm with her dearest friends, the Carafords. Now, as a young woman, she wants to prove herself a good business woman by running the gardens of her father's dwindling estate. Her mother, Catherine, is not impressed and wants her to make a good marriage. She looks down on the Carafords because they are only tenant farmers.

When childhood friendship deepens into love Catherine takes action and extracts a promise from Sam Caraford, calculated to keep them apart, even if it costs their happiness. She throws Rosemary into the company of eligible young gentlemen but Rosemary despises their attitudes and yearns for Sam's love.

Another Home-Another Love by Gwen Kirkwood is published in hard back by Robert Hale Ltd (ISBN 978-0-7090-9630-6). It is available from Amazon, libraries and local book shops price £19.99. It will be available as an E-reader by the end of November 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Trust In Me - a Minxy release!

We are exceptionally proud to announce a new Minxy arrival!

Trust in Me, written by our very own Suzanna Ross (aka Suzanne Ross Jones) was first published in print by DC Thompson's My Weekly Pocket Novels, and makes its eBook debut through E-scape Press today.

Trust in Me

When faced with the prospect of being thrown out her home by a handsome stranger, Rosie Farnham's solution is to refuse to budge. Never mind that multi-millionaire Theo has every right to demand vacant possession - or that he's as gorgeous as sin - she will not leave her home just because he's brandishing ownership papers.

As Rosie refused to move out of the Manor, Theo decides he'll move in. This is no great hardship - even though she's prickly as a hedgehog, there's something about Rosie he finds intriguing.

Can the undeniable attraction between them bring their lives into a new stage?

Trust in Me is available from Amazon and Amazon UK.


Please join the Minxes in a great big "Woohooo!!" for Suz. 


We just know you're going to love this book as much as we do, and watch this space, because there's more to come from the lady we affectionately refer to as Prolific Minx. (Though this is her first full-length release, Suz has had more sales than all the other Minxes put together!)

Hot news straight from the press ... Suzanna Ross has sold another book to DC Thompson, which will be available in UK stores in early 2013. You heard it here first.

Again, well done, Suz. We love you!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Author Spotlight - Sue Moorcroft

The Minxes are delighted to welcome Sue Moorcroft into our Spotlight today. Sue is published by UK-based publisher Choc Lit and is very supportive of aspiring writers both through her blog and her book Love Writing.


1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

I write romantic novels of dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes, which are the kind of books I love to read, too. I also write short stories, serials, columns, articles, courses and writing ‘how to’. I’m a competition judge and a creative writing tutor. My book, Love & Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 and I’m a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner.

I’m English, born in Germany and have lived in Cyprus and Malta. I’m a Formula 1 bore, learn the piano slowly and love Zumba and yoga. And reading, obviously. Obviously.

2. What number book is Dream a Little Dream? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)

This is amazingly difficult to answer. There are some things I’ve written that became books but began as serials, some that have been novels for all of their lives, one that has had different titles for the hardback and the paperback and one that’s non-fiction. Six novels and several other things, anyway.

3. Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?

I need to earn a living, so that’s quite motivating. I also have deadlines and there has to be a very good reason for me to miss one of those. I do like writing, which helps. If something’s going badly, I turn to something else. There’s always a column or something needs starting.

4. What is your top promo tip for other authors?

Be involved with social networking. Readers like writers, and Twitter and Facebook make contact easy. You can tell them when you have good reviews or if you have a new book out or whatever news comes your way. They can tell you if they like your books and I feel privileged when they do, which is happening every week. It’s a joy.

Readers recommend your books to their friends and followers, too. If you’re published in ebook form some ereaders have a facility to ‘share’ when your book’s been bought or read or reviewed.

Don’t hold back from following me on Twitter (@suemoorcroft) or befriending me on Facebook (sue.moorcroft.3)

5. How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?

As well as writing, my career includes things to do with writing – judging, tutoring or critiquing. Loosely, I do the latter three in the mornings and write in the afternoons. This allows me to keep on top of assignments/entries but also ‘keep my head in my book’, which is the most effective way of writing, for me. Promo and the business side of things are squashed in as and when. When I have a new book out (like now!) I do more promo than at other times. I work long hours.

6. Any craft books you recommend?

Cough – may I recommend my own? It’s Love Writing – How to Make Money Writing Romantic or Erotic Fiction. It brings together my skills as a writer and a tutor and contains tips and input from many other writers. (Maybe in the question about a promo tip for authors, above, I ought to have said be shameless in your self promotion …)

7. Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?

Yeah! I am a Zumba addict (yeah, yeah, wiggle wiggle clap clap). I’ve always loved to dance and my yoga instructor is also a Zumba instructor. I wanted a Zumba instructor in Love & Freedom so I went along to one of her classes – and nearly died, I was so unfit. Months later, when I was trying to lose weight, I gave it another go and I absolutely adored it. I do three classes a week, now, plus two of yoga, and I’ve lost about 10% of my body weight. And I’m waaaay fitter. As a crucial side benefit, I’ve made a circle of gym bunny friends to share a quick cuppa with after class and they’re good for my wellbeing.

Dancing is good for my emotional and mental health, as well as bodily health, to be honest. No matter how upset/worried I am when I go in, following a routine and dancing makes me feel better.

8. What was the most fun part of writing this book?

Oh, the research. I became such a research junkie. I’ve told everyone else about it so I might as well tell you. My hero, Dominic Christy, has a rare sleep disorder, narcolepsy. I got really into the subject but felt that my sources weren’t personal enough. So I posted on the message board of Narcolepsy UK that my character was called Dominic, was in his thirties and had narcolepsy. And I got a reply from a real Dominic in his thirties who has narcolepsy. He offered to help me, so long as I told it as it is – people with narcolepsy get tired of their disability being treated as a joke because it really isn’t funny at all – which was my intention, big time, anyway. And he’s been really great, telling me all the stuff about Dominic Christy that I didn’t yet know.

Also, I had to (yes, absolutely had to) have some reflexology treatments, a fish pedicure, learn to drive a 28-foot river cruiser and spend time in the air traffic control tower of Stansted airport. This book has been a blast.

9. Which of your characters would you like to be?

Liza. Dominic Christy makes love to her.

10. Do you write to music, or with the tv on in the background, or do you need complete silence?

Often, to music. It depends what I’m writing whether the music is rocking, lyrical or instrumental. I can’t listen to really good lyricists like Damien Rice, Newton Faulkner, Frank Turner or Regina Spektor when I’m writing, sometimes, because their words are so good that they distract me from mine. If I can ‘zone out’ from the music then I’m working well, which means I sometimes play the same album ten times. This sends other people in the house nuts.


What would you give to make your dreams come true?

Liza Reece has a dream. Working as a reflexologist for a troubled holistic centre isn't enough. When the opportunity arises to take over the Centre she jumps at it. Problem is, she needs funds, and fast, as she's not the only one interested.

Dominic Christy has dreams of his own. Diagnosed as suffering from a rare sleep disorder, dumped by his live-in girlfriend and discharged from the job he adored as an Air Traffic Controller, he's single-minded in his aims. He has money, and plans for the Centre that don't include Liza and her team.

But dreams have a way of shifting and changing and Dominic's growing fascination with Liza threatens to reshape his. And then it's time to wake up to the truth ...


Dream a Little Dream is available from Amazon and Amazon UK.

Love & Freedom is availble from Amazon and Amazon UK.

Love Writing is available from Amazon and Amazon UK.

You can follow Sue on Twitter, on Facebook or on her blog.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Guest post - Evie Hunter

Today we have a guest post from Evie Hunter. Evie is actually two romance writers, Caroline McCall and Eileen Gormley, and their erotic romance, The Pleasures of Winter, has just been released by Penguin.

Things I discovered since I started writing Erotica

There are a lot of kinky people out there. Some of your neighbours do stuff that would curl your hair.
I used to think that all kinky relationships were the same, with a master who told the slave what to do, but I’ve learned that there are huge differences. There are lifestyle D/s (Domination/submission) relationships, which are similar to Amish marriages where the man makes all the decisions, the woman caters to him and does what she’s told.
Then there’s sessional D/s, where the couple is normal most of the time, but during a session, he’s the Dom and she’s the sub. Occasionally, a sessional couple will switch, so he’s the boss one day and she is next time.
There is a big difference in what turns individual women on. Some like submission, the feeling of being controlled and directed, while others like pain. There are a lot of women who want to be spanked or cropped or have rough sex, but only submit as far as necessary to get the spanking etc. If the Dom doesn’t understand what his sub wants, things won’t work.
A spanking should be a good one. A half-assed spanking is more frustrating and disappointing than none at all.  It takes time and patience and effort. The six spanks so popular in literature are a joke. In order to be effective, arnica is likely to be required the following day. A few swats are not use to anyone.
A good Dom has to pay a lot of attention to find out what the sub needs, whether it's submission or pain or control or a combination, and what her kinks and limits are. There should be an element of pushing the limits, but only in a way that the sub needs. Basically, it's not about being a bully or a bastard. There is a big question of who is really in charge, since it's the sub's needs which dictate the scene.
Within that, they can get as creative as they like, with nipple clamps, nettles in her panties or ginger in her ass.
Some subs like to be controlled, to be told what colour panties to wear, what time to go to bed and how long they are allowed to spend on-line. Others
just want an hour or two of spanking and challenges.
Bratting, deliberately misbehaving to get more attention and punishment, is very common.
D/s relationships have three stages:
Forming - coffee, chatting, establishing interests, boundaries, limits and building trust.
Storming - where the relationship starts and both of them are finding out how it works. Often includes bratting where the sub pushes the Dom to see how he will react.
Norming - when the balance is established and both of them are happy with it.
One of the questions all women want to know: can a Dom look at you and tell if you are submissive or not? Well, sort of. A good Dom is an expert at reading body language and picking up subtle cues. But a handy technique is simply to talk to the woman and ask her to do something. When he looks to see how she reacts. Does she do it without thinking, or does she ignore him, or does she complain that he asked her?

Thanks for guesting here today, Evie!


Find The Pleasures of Winter on Amazon.com here
 
An accompanying short is also available on Amazon as a free read - today is the last day free:
A Touch of Winter on Amazon.com here
On Amazon dot co uk here

Evie's website:
Evie on Twitter:
Evie on Facebook:

 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Author Spotlight - Rachel Lyndhurst

This isn't Rachel's first Author Spotlight for the Minxes, but she's answering different questions! We're delighted to have her here today, to tell us all about her latest release for Entangled's Indulgence line (and answer the questions of course!).

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been a full-time writer since my first book ‘sold’ a couple of years ago, well as full-time as I can be with two school age children! I have a law degree and am a fully qualified accountant. I’ve had day jobs in the space industry, pharmaceuticals, insurance, a supermarket, a bus station, a railway depot, and a lingerie department.
I live with my daughter, son and The Exec in Fareham, Hampshire, on the south coast of England and can sometimes smell the sea from my back garden. Hobbies have sort of gone out of the window right now as I’m so busy, but I do love a solitary visit to a hushed and dusty old antiques shop when I get the chance. Apart from that, wine and expensive lipstick keeps me happy.

What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
The Spanish Billionaire’s Hired Bride is my third published novel.

Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
Sheer terror is about the only thing that will force me to write if I really don’t want to – something like a screaming deadline will do the trick!  Fortunately, not wanting to write doesn’t happen very often and it’s probably a sign that I should have a break anyway. Not having a nine- to- five job gives me flexibility, but it also means I find it very hard to stop. So shoe shopping now and then really is a kind of therapy.

What is your top promo tip for other authors?
It’s hard, but try your best not to do the equivalent of saying ‘buy my book’. Think longer term and interact with as many people as you can in real life and on social networks, and that means anybody because you never know who’ll be interested in you and your book. If people like you, there’s a good chance they’ll consider buying your work. Here’s an exclusive revelation for the Minxes: I once unknowingly sold a book to our local Police chief in the school playground – I had no idea that was his job! He said he enjoyed it …

How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
As I mentioned above, I have school age children, so I have to fit my writing around that routine, but I try to be disciplined as it’s my ‘day job’ now. After the school run, at nine o’clock the laptop goes on, maybe an hour for lunch and jobettes during the day, and then by three o’clock I fetch the children.  So, I have about six hours maximum alone and then throughout the evening I’ll do housework, scribble in notebooks, deal with US emails and maybe get some Facebook or Twitter in. I do wish I had more hours in the day …

Do you write every day?
Pretty much, even if it’s just a scribble on a notepad while I’m tethered to the kitchen sink! I can’t help it …

Is there a book you haven't written yet that you're dying to? What genre?
There is. It’s one third written and breaks a lot of genre rules, which means it will probably never see the light of day, but it feels so right. It’s a romcom, bonkbuster, with dark parochial prejudice and a little mystery thrown in.  Think Bridget Jones, meets A Casual Vacancy, meets Fifty Sheds. So if any adventurous London-based agents are reading …

Any craft books you recommend?
·      Goal Motivation and Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction by Debra Dixon.
·        Got High Concept: The Key to Dynamic Fiction that Sells! By Lori Wilde.
·        Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler.
·        On Writing Romance: How to Craft a Novel That Sells by Leigh Michaels.

Which of your characters would you like to be?
I’d quite like to be any of my heroines. Even though they have things tough in the beginning – they go to places I’ve never been, experience the ultimate in luxury and always get their super-hot man in the end. I’d be quite happy to live in their fantasy world – one without two baskets of dirty laundry a day!

Writing snacks – what are your favourites?
Oh dear, it’s not vegetable crudités and hummus that often.  Cough. If it’s bad for you, it’s probably in my top ten. My son keeps making me buy those new Walkers deep ridged potato chips, so it’s not really my fault … But I do like very posh olives!  Is red wine a snack?

And now, here's some info about Rachel's latest release, The Spanish Billionaire's Hired Bride:

He bought her with cold, hard cash, but can she stop him from stealing her heart?Blackmailed to marry against his will, Ricardo Almanza needs a wife before he’s thirty, and time is running out. A notorious playboy, marriage is the last thing he wants, but his stepmother’s sexy, debt-ridden personal assistant is the perfect solution. He makes her a business deal she can’t refuse—one million euros for three months as his wife. He might even enjoy being married to her … if she doesn’t kick the crap out of him again.
Helen Marshall can’t believe she’s considering Almanza’s outrageous proposal, but she must help clear her parents’ debts or they face financial ruin. The small print on the marriage contract changes to read three months as his wife in every way—including in the bedroom. Has she gotten in too deep, or will she need a new contract addendum, extending their marriage forever?

The Spanish Billionaire's Hired Bride is available now from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Barnes and Noble.
And you can find out more about Rachel and her books at her blog, facebook, goodreads and she's @RachelLyndhurst on twitter.

Monday, October 29, 2012

"Proper" Books versus E-readers

I recently said to someone, “Oh, I’m not a gadget person, but I’m thinking of getting another Kindle”. They asked which gadgets I owned other than my older Kindle. I started to list them and I realised…err…oops!

Shortly thereafter, I came across a debate on “proper” books versus e-readers. To summarise, one person was adamant they would NEVER get an e-reader because it’s “just not the real thing”. I smiled to myself because I was in the exact position not too long ago, when the idea of reading on anything other than paper was anathema to me.

Fast-forward a mere two years and I’m now surrounding with so much choice, I’m like a kid in a candy store…and I want Santa to bring me more.

Specifically…(hope you’re listening, Santa!)…I want the Kindle Fire…


Or the new iPad Mini…(hmm, isn’t it pretty?)


But if Santa’s busy and sends his elf and they somehow get it wrong and get me a Kindle Paperwhite…


I’ll still say yes, please and thank you.

So what if it’ll bring my gadget total to….no, let’s not count them. In my defence, I still read my “proper” books, often and I don’t think I’ll ever stop.

What about you, where do you stand on E-readers versus “Proper” books”?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Author Spotlight - Liz Fielding

I've been a fan of Liz's since I first started reading Mills & Boon Romances (which wasn't as long ago as that might seem!) Her books consistently manage to move me both to tears and laughter. So I am especially delighted to host her here in our Spotlight today. Welcome. Liz.


1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

My first romance, An Image of You, was published in December 1992, so this year marks the twentieth anniversary of my career as a published romance writer. The changes during that time have been extraordinary. Where I once sat in isolation, writing stories for people who would occasionally put pen to paper and tell me how much they appreciated them, I now chat daily with a supportive coterie of authors and readers in a worldwide community of romance lovers.

In my real world, I’ve been married for 40 years to the same man, have two fabulous grown-up children, two lovely granddaughters and I live in the mystical south-west of England within the triangle of Stonehenge, Glastonbury and my favourite city, the Regency playground of Bath.

2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)

The Last Woman He’d Ever Date is my sixty-first for Harlequin Mills and Boon – my sixty-fourth in all.

3. Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?

It’s discipline. It’s my job. Shoe shopping is for the weekends.

4. What is your top promo tip for other authors?

That is just so hard. You create a website that showcases your work. If you’re happy blogging, then keep it short and interesting. Treat your followers on twitter and facebook like people, not just a sales opportunity. And remember that none of it works if you spend so much time on social network that you’re not producing the books.

5. How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?

I get up early – around six o’clock and work until lunchtime. The afternoon is for research, housework (aka thinking time) and gardening.

6. Is there a book you haven't written yet that you're dying to? What genre?

I get asked this so often and yes, I have a romcom/crime book — a cross between Katie Fforde and Jennifer Crusie on my back burner. It’s about time I stopped talking about it and got writing!

7. Any craft books you recommend?

Kate Walker’s 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance is brilliant. And I’d also recommend Save the Cat by Blake Snyder – it’s a screen writing book, but full of great stuff.

8. Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?

No, and that has to change. My hips complain if I ask too much of them, but we have swimming pool quite near and my plan is to cut down on the carbs and take to the water.

9. In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?

I’m sure most unpublished writers think that getting published is the end. That you have arrived and after that it’s going to be easy. It’s not, it’s just the beginning. I went to hear Ben Kane and Val McDermid talk at our local library a couple of weeks ago and they both said the same. Each book is like the first. You’re back to square one. The technique gets stronger, but your standard gets higher and achieving the vision of the story in your head is always at the end of the rainbow.

10. Just for fun: a year from the end of the book, where would your couple go on holiday?

Italy. Claire would want to see the fabulous gardens, Hal would want to indulge her. And after all that walking they’d spend some time in one of those steep little villages on the coast to relax in the sun, drink wonderful wine and eat the fabulous food.

11. Could you be friends with any of your heroines?

I hope I write characters that my readers would want as a best friend but if I had to choose I’d want Amy Jones in The Bachelor’s Baby (and a bit player in several other books) as a best friend. And Belle in Reunited: Marriage in a Million.




Tall, dark and brooding — and back for good!

Claire Thackery: Hardworking single mom, working for the local newspaper. Hoping for the inside scoop on sexy billionaire Hal North, aka her teenage crush, to get her career back on track.
Most wary of: Gorgeous men who set hr heart racing. (Been there — using the T-shirt as a duster — and has the baby to prove it.)

Hal North: Bad boy made good. Back in his hometown as new owner of the Cranbrook Park estate, with some scores to settle.
Most wary of: Journalists — especially pretty ones, like his new tenant, Claire Thackeray.


The Last Woman He'd Ever Date is available from Amazon, Amazon UK and direct from Mills & Boon / Harlequin.


You can follow Liz on her blog and on Twitter.