Friday, December 24, 2010

Ho ho ho!

Breezing in, with a flurry of sticky tape and icing sugar to wish you all a very merry Christmas, and safe and sensational 2011.

See you next year!

E x

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bromance isn't a real word, is it? Is it?

Great news!  The Oxford Dictionary has released a new pile of completely legit words you can use in your next manuscript.

Here's a sample, shamelessly lifted from the Time newsfeed:

chill pill a notional pill taken to make someone calm down
chillax calm down and relax
turducken a roast dish consisting of a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey (Emmeline:  We're only just thinking of this?)
bargainous costing less than is usual or than might be expected; cheap or relatively cheap (I'm so using this one.)
staycation holiday spent in one's home country
fussbudget a fussy person (This wasn't a word?  Huh.)
vuvuzela long horn blown by fans at soccer matches
national treasure someone/thing regarded as emblematic of anation's cultural heritage
buzzkill a person or thing that has a depressing or dispiriting effect
social media websites and applications used for social networking
microblogging the posting of very short entries on a blog
netbook small light laptop
dictionary attack an attempt to gain illicit access to a computer system by using a very large set of words to generate potential passwords
paywall an arrangement whereby access is restricted to users who have paid to subscribe to a website
freemium a business model, especially on the Internet, whereby basic services are provided free of charge while more advanced features must be paid for
automagically automatically and in a way that seems ingenious, inexplicable, or magical (Love it!)
carbon capture and storage the process of trapping and storing carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels
geoengineering manipulation of environmental processeses in an attempt to counteract the effects of global warming
toxic debt debt which has a high risk of default
deleveraging the process or practice of reducing the level of one's debt by rapidly selling one's assets
overleveraged having taken on too much debt
quantitative easing the introduction of new money into the money supply by a central bank
exit strategy a pre-planned means of extricating oneself from a situation
overthink think about (something) too much or for too long
catastrophizing view or present a situation as considerably worse than it actually is 
soft skills personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people
matchy-matchy excessively colour-coordinated
LBD little black dress
frenemy a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry
cheeseball lacking taste, style, or originality
cool hunter a person whose job it is to make observations or predictions about new styles and trends  (Awesome!)
steampunk a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advance technology
tweetup a meeting organized by means of posts on Twitter
bromance a close but non-sexual relationship between two men
wardrobe malfunction an instance of a person accidentally exposing an intimate part of their body as a result of an article of clothing slipping out of position
defriend another term for unfriend (remove someone from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site)
Interweb the Internet
This particular list doesn't include some of my faves--BFF (do I need to explain this one?), LMAO (see previous comment), trampstamp (apparently, a tattoo on a woman's lower back) or hashtag (see brackets two and three).  
I resolve to weave at least three of these into conversation this week, even though, in my house an LBD refers to a cocktail frank (also known as Little Boys...)
E x

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The schamozzle that is geographic restrictions.

I get a real kick out of reading the sales blurbs for new books, and knowing that I can hop onto the iPad and find these brand-new-releases at, whence I can download them to the Kindle app and get reading RIGHT AWAY!  Bliss, eh?

It would be blissful, aside from the fact that I live in Australia, not the US.  Which ordinarily isn't something I dwell upon.  Until I want to buy a new ebook.  Lots (read, most) new eBooks aren't available to us here in Oz.  I can order the print book and have it mailed, no worries.  BUT I WANT IT NOW!  :)

This blogpost from Jane at Dear Author went a long way to dousing my grump.  Thank you Jane.  There is hope, hopefully.  I await the day I don't ever, ever require giving over headspace to something such as this.

Take care all, E x

PS 07.11.10 - Jane's next instalment Geographic Restrictions, Take Two.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The official launch of the Dark Side...DownUnder!


The best thing about this Halloween is the official launch of our new Aus/NZ spec-fic author blog:

Click on the banner to reach the new Darksiders blog, and comment to be in the running for one of two prizes.

Awesome!  There's also a rundown of how the blog will work, and tips on what you can win, when.  (Thanks Eleni!)

So, come on over to the Darkside!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Darksiders cometh!

A group of RWA and RWANZ speculative fiction authors have banded together and their arrival is nigh! These talented writers pen a vast array of stories--paranormal, sci-fi, urban fantasy, fantasy, romantic or with romantic elements.


And we're storming the blogosphere this Halloween!

Prepare for the following to pop into your PC:

Jess Anastasi

Maree Anderson

Keri Arthur

Kitty Bucholtz

Astrid Cooper

Rowena Cory Daniells

Michelle de Rooy

Jessica Dorney

Fiona Gregory

Kylie Griffin

Erica Hayes

Shona Husk

Shannah Jay

Loretta Kelly

Eleni Konstantine

Emmeline Lock

Nicole R Murphy

Janni Nell

Tracey O'Hara

Christina Phillips

Denise Rossetti

Jenny Schwartz

Nicola E. Sheridan

Nicky Strickland

Mel Teshco

Joanne Vogel

As THIS SUNDAY--Halloween, people!-- is our launch date, ready yourselves for the virtual onslaught of fiction gore, ghosts, blood, vamps, aliens, spaceships, corpses and, oh yes...


Many thanks to Eleni and Keri for readying the DARKSIDERS TO GO!

Until then, mwahahahaha!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm in! Check my pride badge...

Listening to:  HALLELUJAH - k.d.lang.  Yep, again.  I love it.  
Reading:  STRANGE BEDPERSONS Jennifer Crusie, and a ms from one of my lovely CP's, Rach! 
Working on:  final pass on HIS DEADLY ECHO, a paranormal romantic short before I send it to Rach and Anna, and I'm thinking about a new story...   

Despite my best efforts to confuse everybody by mailing in my application to RWA just prior to the conference, I'm in!

What a fabulous place!  I've caught up on the RWA's official journal, Hearts Talk, editions I've not read (grab a membership, and you too can read them!) and I've jumped on the loop, where everyone was very welcoming.  I'm also toying, in a very small way, with entering a comp or two this year.  We shall see.

Joy of joys, I found RWA has a dedicated paranormal/speculative fiction crew, too.  They've just given themselves a name,'s all very exciting!  More to come.

My last post, you know, the one about Christina Phillips' new release from Berkeley, FORBIDDEN, remember that?  I won a signed copy!  Yay for me!  It's on the top of the TBR, and many thanks and best of luck to the lovely Christina!  Mwah!

I've been having a bit of a reading-fest at the moment - the kids are home on school holidays, and really, who gets anything constructive done then - so I've been gobbling a few up on the iPad Kindle app.  (Amazon) Kindle has this sample option which is very cool.  I can elect to send the sample to whichever app I want (or your actual honest-to-God Kindle, too, I imagine), and I'm loving it.  The best of the recents?  All the Kresley Cole IAD series (she's brill.).  The only thing about buying eBooks is the geographic restrictions, which makes me want to pop my head in the toaster and push the lever.

I must, must, must get a hold of Joey W Hill's mermaid series (Daughters of Arianne).  They're restricted in eBook for Australia, but I can get it via Amazon or the like, as they consider the US the purchase point when you buy print books.  Anna Hackett has a thing about scales and slime, but she loved Joey W Hill.  Check out her blog post.  Oh, and DARK SIREN gets a mention!  Thanks Anna, mwah!

Speaking of Anna, she's anticipating the arrival of her fifth Nocturne Bites, called ONE NIGHT WITH THE WOLF.  I gotta tell you, I'm not a big wolf chick, but I loved the hero in this one.  Num.  There's a stunning forest/chase/wolf scene that you have GOT to read.  As soon as she gets a date, we'll pass it on.

I've also got a stack of Jenny Crusies here in paperback I'm working through.  I thought FAKING IT was great.  She's extremely talented (her dialogue makes me drool), but I always feel a little like I connect more with the heroes than the heroines.  Although, MANHUNTING has a heroine I really enjoyed, and Tilda in FAKING IT was a great character.  Davy, however was a con-artist who really made my boat float.  :)

Finally, DARK SIREN has been in NY a little over three months now.  I'm not stressing it, though.  I like to have something ready to send straight back, and the current wip has to go to Rach and Anna before I can fix it up and mail it off, so we're at least a month or more away.

As far as the new story goes, I'm thinking I might have a go at something lighter, more paranormal romantic comedy.  I've been thinking about voice, lately.

But more on that next time.  :)

Take care, all!  E x

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I'm not dead - and Christina Phillips' FORBIDDEN blog party!

Listening to:  Will Write for Wine Podcasts
Reading: RWA's LITTLE GEMS Topaz Anthology & Kristan Higgin's ALL I EVER WANTED
Working on:  Paranormal romantic novella

I'm slightly ashamed of the fact that I nearly always have to open my blog posts with some proof of life.

Yes, I'm still breathing!  I haven't been spending my time doing my nails, or polishing the hubcaps on the Kluger, either.  I'm nearly done with the dirty draft for HIS DEADLY ECHO, a prospective Nocturne Bites submission.  And while the end is nigh, I cannot say 'dirty' enough.  It's a bit of a hot mess, but it's definitely getting there.

Otherness, this is winging its was around the blogosphere, and I thought I'd rock the party, too.  I think this is one of my fave covers going around at the mo'... something about him holding her upper arms, and her fingers splayed on her thigh.  Pretty.  Oh, and there is talk of signed book giveaway.

To help celebrate the release of Forbidden, Christina Phillips's debut Roman/Druid Ancient Historical Romance from Berkley Heat, she's holding a launch party with lots of amazing authors and fabulous giveaways! In addition, Christina's giving away a signed copy of Forbidden to one lucky person who helps spread the love. All you have to do is mention the party (you can copy and paste this blurb), being held from 1st to 6th September at You can Tweet about it, blog, Facebook, MySpace or anything! And then drop her an email at ChristinapPh @ gmail dot com (no spaces) to let her know. Please put Forbidden Launch Party (or something similar) in the subject line. The winner will be drawn for that on Monday 6th September.

And if you'd like to also put the trailer up on your sites, please do!!! The YouTube link to embed is here.

I'd love to put the Youtube clip on, but something's hinkey (probably me), so I'll just put this:

And this:

"I dare you to put down Forbidden until you reach the last page. Compelling, passionate and fascinating." Anna Campbell, author of CAPTIVE OF SIN

Nice one, Anna!

Fellow SARA, Eleni Konstantine will be there, as well as a number of totally cool people.

Speaking of Eleni, I've just finished reading the Little Gems Topaz Anthology, which features Eleni's cover design, as well as more SARA's--Bronwyn Stuart and Maggie Mundy.  Hit the link above to order yours, or go to Christina's party, Eleni is giving one away!

Take care, all.  E x

Monday, August 2, 2010

Getting up to speed...

You know how you feel like you've been insanely busy, but have very little to show for it? Welcome to My July.

The biggest, excitingest news from the last few weeks is that one of my lovely CP's, the very talented Anna Hackett has sold another Bites! It's a fabulous wolf story that Rach and I critiqued. The hero is majorly drool-worthy. Huge congrats, Anna! More when it comes to hand...

I've been working on my next potential Bites sub, working titled HIS DEADLY ECHO, for the most part. I did my usual "write four thousand words to start which will ultimately be binned" thing again. Not sure why I don't just write 5k and call it notes, then start the real thing. Nevermind. It seems to work for me. It's at about six K now, and I'm only just at the first kiss. I shall hack and slice at it later.

Had a SARA meeting on the third Wednesday of July, this time we spoke about online presence. It was all quite interesting, especially the bit about buying dot coms. Mmmmm.... To my neverending (for a few moments, anyway) shame, I didn't make my 6k goal for that meeting--only four--but I am well on the way to getting four for the next meeting. In my defence, a rogue Palm Cove holiday presented itself, so I lost a week or two whilst enjoying that.

Lots of SARA ladies are fired up about the RWA Conference. Have a great time!

Been reading. Gobbled up a few Showalters recently. THE PLEASURE SLAVE and THE STONE PRINCE. Not my fave GS, but seriously good, nonetheless.

I've just recently re-discovered podcasts, too. I was listening to one today, whilst pruning my roses (read: spliter torture at home). I think I like them, I had the Harlequin Nocturne one, plus Smart Bitch Sarah and Jane from Dear Author. Do you listen to industry-related podcasts? Any comments/recommendations? Thanks. :)

On a completely personal and possibly slightly self-congratulatory note, I also hit a weightloss goal this week. Not quite half way through that journey. I've rewarded myself with Chamilia bling. Purrrty. :)

Oh, and I got an iPad, from which I am posting. Works well, doesn't it?

Monday, June 21, 2010


Two posts in one day!  Turn it up!

I just had to let you know I've just hit send on my latest Nocturne Bites sub, DARK SIREN.

Just got the acknowledgement email, which didn't exist last time I subbed.  Very cool to know my MS is in NY!

Wish me luck!  E x

A bit of SARA love...

I went to my first SARA (South Australian Romance Authors) Group meeting last Wednesday night at the SA Writer's Centre.  What a fabulous bunch of people!  It's really gratifying to sit amongst like-minded people and just BE.

We were planning a holiday at the weekend and the first thing I checked was that it didn't coincide with SARA.  :)

There's a really active email loop, and a badge, too.  Plus, there was chocolate and wine.  Really—perfection!  I've set goals and resolved to send in my latest ms.  Just composing the email now...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Stoopidness and Mountains.

Life has been zipping past at warp speed lately--the most noticeable thing is that since we hit winter (seven days ago) it's sodding freezing here.  I am currently wrapped in a doona.

I downloaded some eBooks this week.  The May Nocturne Bites, Michele Hauf's HALO HUNTER and Mel Teshco's ICE-COLD LOVER, which is the second book in the Winged and Dangerous series.  I reviewed Mel's Bites HER DARK LORD a while back, and am really looking forward to this new release.  If I can stop looking at the cover.  How pretty is it?

I'm currently fiddling with MkIV edits of DARK SIREN.  I swear, I get dafter with each pass, but I am pushing through.  It's times like this I feel like a just started this writing caper last week, not nine years ago.  So much to learn!

Anna and Rach have been absolute GEMS when it comes to critiquing for me, if I've gotten any better as a writer over the last year, the credit has to be mostly theirs.  

I love having two CP's--lots of the time, they pick up on the same things, which are must-fixes.  But every now and then, and especially now that we're into small niggles with the WIP, they disagree, which I find fascinating.  It's a reminder that you don't have to please everybody (and really, it's an unrealistic expectation), but if you just happen to appeal to the editor you're targeting, you're in your way. 

I've been looking over motivational writing stuff this last week during a particularly bad "I'm sooo STOOPID!" stretch, looking for something, and I re-visited Chiron O'Keefe's motivational/inspirational blog.  Anna had pointed Rach and me to this last time we had a dull spot *hehe*, and I think Chiron is quite wonderful.  I thought this bit was about me at the moment:

Here's the thing. Published writers don't have a special key to unlock the doorway to success. They simply knocked longer and harder until someone opened the gosh-darn door and let them in.

Another thing to consider… The journey is damn important. I know the thought of being published is the dangling carrot that keeps our mulish self plodding forward, one page at a time. But I believe writing is more than a means to an end. I believe writing is an act of self-discovery. 
Each page you write is a testament to your strength, your courage and your perseverance.

"Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance." –Samuel Johnson

While much credence is given to those who can do everything from Dance With The Stars to Surviving on Creepy, Crawly Bugs in this Reality-Show driven decade, few of those characters could ever accomplish what we do. We Write Books. This is our mountain. Every time we complete another novel, we are planting a flag. Visualize those flags fluttering in the breeze and feel a tingle of pride because 
We Are Writers. Damn, but we're lucky.

"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." ~Sir Edmund Hillary 

Thus, I pick up Captain Pink and I keep going.  I feel lucky because I KNOW I'm learning and getting better.  I can see that myself.  It keeps me going, because at some point, I am going to have learned enough to write something that an editor wants to publish.


And I promise Rach and Anna, because they've done the hard yards with me.  It's funny, but in ways, I keep going because I don't want to let them down after they've ploughed through at least three of my WIPs.  And ploughed is the word.  Or trudged.  Hacked with razor-sharp machetes?  

So, how's the mountain-conquering going for you?

If you write, what do you do when you get stuck/morbid?  What works to keep you scaling that mountain?  

Take care, Em x

Friday, May 21, 2010

RWA'S RTN aka Romancing The Novel aka Rockin' The Noggin.

I might officially be a real writer.
"Cods!" you might say. "You've been writing seriously and submitting (and being rejected - sorry about that bit) for over a year now!"
True. But last Saturday I felt like a real writer.

On May 15th in Adelaide, our fair and only slightly grimy city, Romance Writers of Australia held one of their Australian Roadshows, called 'Romancing the Novel'. SARA (South Australian Romance Authors) hosted it at the SA Writer's Centre.

Yvonne Lindsay and rapt attendees. How pretty is the Writer's Centre?

I've met a few of the SARA people before, and thought I should like to go along (aka I was DYING to go).

Moi, and Anna Campbell

Yvonne Lindsay and Anna Campbell were the main drawcards, and there was also some very excellent local talent - Elizabeth Rolls, Trish Morey, Claire Baxter, Anne Oliver & Christina Carlisle.

Trish Morey

So, I duly downloaded a few eBooks from these authors (I had previously only read Anne Oliver). I got stuck on Elizabeth Rolls' LORD BRAYBROOK'S PENNILESS BRIDE (I didn't want to rush it - very good), and was only a few pages into Yvonne's DEFIANT MISTRESS, RUTHLESS MILLIONAIRE when the highly-awaited day arrived.

The aforementioned 'rapt audience'. That's me in my most romantic pink jacket, far right. :)

Eleni had hooked me up with another local writer who was also new to SARA, the very lovely Carol, and we drove in together. That is to say, Carol drove and I talked. This required a 6:50am house departure. Something I wasn't entirely certain I could do, what with kids and stuff. But, I was actually early! How about that? :)

We found our doorway when we met Amy T Matthews & Maggie Mundy:

The day started with a cracker-bang and just got better and better.

Anna and Yvonne started us off with a 'Secrets of a Best-Selling Romance' session. I have been reading Deb Dixon's GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict), and they spoke about just that, and had us looking at those elements in our own works in progress, which actually made me question the GMC in my current wip more than reading Dixon's book did.

Yvonne and Anna spoke about Flimmers (Flying into the mist, Pantsers) or the opposite, Plotters. Funnily, Yvonne is a master plotter and Anna at the other end of the spectrum. These two spoke together really beautifully and it was interesting to see their differing working/speaking styles. They both had us giggling all day long!

Without going into fan-girl detail, there were sessions on characters, and and excellent one on Emotional Punch (incorporating Deep Point of View) with Anna that was excellent. I have always tried to keep right inside my characters' heads, running the risk of bogging the story down. I'm now going to be more mindful of where I am doing what kind of writing - keeping the Deep POV for more emotive scenes, not just delving into it whenever I fancy.

Yvonne & myself...
Anna also had a great section where she talked about writers' tendencies to concentrate on those senses that were most prevalent in their psyche (eg sight, touch) in their writing. We talked about a major scene in out wips and made lists of the things the character felt, heard, saw, tasted, and smelled. My biggest list was definitely sight, the others were dead even. So, I know now to use the other senses in my writing as much as I talk about what the character's SEE. Wow. Great stuff.

In fact, there was so much superb stuff to take away, that my head was spinning, but it was all GREAT information. Luckily, I took copious notes on loglines, high concept, great authors, writing styles, resources, filter words, voice, genres and publishers.

Told ya - was lots. :)

Christina Carlisle held a quick but meaty session on ePubs - I really wanted to meet her, as I'm friends with her nephew. She was delightful, and a fountain of knowledge.

I met some lovely people, aside from the authors, including Bronwyn Stuart who lives close by, and is responsible for some of the fab pics on this post. Thanks, Bronwyn. (My pics are the fuzzy ones, let's just get that straight. :) You can see more on her blog at her webbie.

This is Bronwyn with Anna Campbell, who affectionately calls the former "Stalkey"

SO - the intention is - get my tush to SARA meetings and join RWA (GASP! I know! But, if I'm a member, they won't let me judge for R*BY, which might make me cry - I will join soon ((see above re 'real writer')).

Sadly, I could not join the crew at Eros restaurant for dinner, but I was home on Twitter when news of Anna Campbell's massive ARRA gong came through, so that was cool...

Fortunately, lunch was very tasty, as were the morning and afternoon teas. Donuts? No argument. :)

Speaking of tasty, there was also the goody bags and the novel stash. Ten books, nearly half of them author-signed. With MY NAME in it. SQUEEE!

Congrats to SARA and RWA for holding such a fabulicious seminar. See you next time.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Romancing the Novel - SA Roadshow is nigh!

Yeeek! It's on tomorrow. I'm very excited, this will be my first ever seminar with like-minded writery people.

I leave the house at 6:50am, drop the kids to my mum's and GO!

More soon...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The earth moved...

and it woke me up!

Whilst being cranky-pants at myself for being an indifferent blogger (this, despite having the app for that...), I knew I wanted to blog about the earth moving at my place recently.

No - nothing to do with the love of my life. He was asleep, and indeed, had to be woken to be informed the earth had trembled.

Yep, I'm talking earthquake.

On April 16th, at not quite 11:30, the we experienced tremors. In our little 'ol burg! We were quite famous there for a day or two.

So I was reading (Let's see, I think it was Gena Showalter's THE VAMPIRE'S BRIDE - excellent, excellent, FYI) on the iPhone (also known as the second love of my life), when I was jolted out of a particularly gripping passage by a truck driving through our bathroom.

That was what it was like - a big truck, or a four-million people strong pipes and drums band.

It lasted for about ten seconds. The WINDOWS rattled.

I gripped hubby, slightly disoriented form leaving Showalter's sexy vampire in a hurry, and I said, "What the f*&k was that?"

He said, "Earthquake." And went back to sleep. Good guy to have around in an emergency, my boy.

As I'm laying there, stunned (by the quake, not by hubby, he's always like that), a friend texts me, "What the f&%k was that?"

"Earthquake" I texted back. I had it on good authority.

So then, I get online (in bed, have I mentioned how much I love my phone?) and yes, there had been a quake. By 111:50, there was a 2000 strong group on Facebook called "I survived the Adelaide Earthquake 16/04/10". Amazing.

Of course, I immediately joined the group called, "I said, 'What the f%&k was that?' when the earthquake hit."

I had mostly forgotten about it the next day, until a man with a camera was roaming our paddocks. I was inclined to let the dog eat him, but the kids were watching out the window, so I went to see him and his female sidekick.

Apparently, the quake epicentre was in our paddock, and had I had a near-death experience last night when the terrible, terrible quake occurred?

I didn't think so, but I had been VERY sleepy...

I realised then that I was wearing tracksuit pants that were two inches too short in the leg, and a puce polo with chocolate stains on the front. In front of a man with a very large, shoulder holstered camera. My hair? Think uncooked rice noodles.

So, of course, I said, "What quake? I dinnent hear nuffink (honest, guv)." And I ran away, leaving them filming our paddocks and our monochromatic cows like they were on the red carpet at the Logies.

I proceeded to tell all my friends about how the quake started at OUR HOUSE! Do you think hubby didn't love that?!

Anyhoo, turns out, the 3.8 magnitude quake was actually three kilometres out of town, not two, and was actually under the Strawberry Farm up the road. Boohoo. Silly ABC News.

Anyway, here's a lovely link to a dramatic, "That might not be the end of it - aaargh!" article (also the source of the image above). Look out for the very excellent quote from a Mr Buckley. :)

Ta-ta. And remember to strap yourself in your bed tonight. You never know what will happen...

Em x

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Finish line in sight!

I've just typed THE END on TREASURED HUNTER this week - a WIP involving a kick-ass siren, a bitter treasure hunter and lots of sparkly things.


Now, because I tore quite a few thousand words out of this one (um, three times), there are still many, many jagged edges. I kept thinking of better storylines as I attempted to pants (that is, write without the aid of an outline - by the seat of your pants, as it t'were), and I kept having to go back and alter what had happened before. Oy.

I tried pantsing, I really did, but I suck at it. Then I get shitey at myself for having to go back and fix stuff.

Part-way through, I broke and did character studies, a mind-map, and a storyboard (after the third fix that affected the WHOLE story) and I've even done a fair bit of a synopsis. Woo, that's big...

I work better this way.

How about you? Plotter or pantser? Any advice? Any fun/heartrending/entirely forgettable experiences?

Which segues not-very-neatly into another thing - authors and said authors coming to SA!

SARA (South Australian Romance Authors), in conjunction with RWA is bringing Romancing the Novel Seminar to little ol' Adelaide - a 2010 Romance Roadshow Event!

There are some very cool guest speakers in Anna Campbell and Yvonne Lindsay, plus SARA members like Elizabeth Rolls and Trish Morey. And much more...

I'm there! It's on May 15th.

More at the SARA website - and thanks to Eleni for bringing it to my attention! Just what I was waiting for, I think!

Take care, Em x

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review - HER DARK LORD - Mel Teshco

Mel Teshco's HER DARK LORD is out this month for Silhouette Nocturne Bites.

Here's the blurb from the eHarlequin eBook site (buy it here!):

When dhampir Kia Montana takes a man home, she isn't looking for names or a relationship—she only wants someone who could satisfy her lust for both sex and blood. But Kia's new mission is to find Sean Maximillus, Lord Vampire and the lone being capable of curing Kia's mother. Kia thought she found the key to success with Ronan, a mysterious man who promises to take her to Maximillus...and who shares a carnal passion with Kia even bloodlust couldn't match.

But Ronan also seems to know too much about Kia...things she never told him. And as she is drawn deeper into Ronan's world, he reveals secrets that will change Kia's life forever...

This is Mel's first ever Bites - you might recall that I last read STONE-COLD LOVER that Mel released with Ellora's Cave. It was a great short read, and I looked forward to fellow-Aussie Mel's next offering with held breath.

One thing that does get my goat (this doesn't happen often, so look out!) is when I read reviews of short stories at places like goodreads, and the reviewer says something like, "I liked the storyline, but felt the relationship between the main characters should have been explored more."

Ah, no. In fifteen thousand words, you probably don't have time. You want drawn-out, read WAR AND PEACE.

I love Bites for precisely what they are - short action-packed, emotion fuelled reads that are like a ghost train ride - you begin, entering a completely different world, and a short time later you emerge out the other side into the sunlight, your heart pounding, your clothes slightly rumpled, but feeling much better for your visit to unreality.

HER DARK LORD delivers.

I was wondering how it would shape up after reading STONE-COLD LOVER, and Mel does beautifully.

Right from the first fresh-out-of-the-silk-sheet-encased-bed scene to the hero's final bombshell, it's a great read.

The heroine, struggling to reconcile herself with her dhampirism is nicely tormented and sexy, and the hero is ancient, wise and nummo. :)

And it's set in Australia. Really, what more could you want?

Nice one, Mel!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Week two's winner announced at Anna & Mel's celebration-fest!

Head over to Anna's blog to find out who won!

While you're there, take a moment to chat to Anna about your fave vamp movie - you could be taking home a Nocturne Bites Prize - Alexis Morgan's THE VAMPIRE'S DESIRE next Sunday night!

Just finished Mel Teshco's HER DARK LORD. Nice. Will do a quick round-up tomorrow.... E x

Monday, March 15, 2010

Romancing the Novel - SA Roadshow

Here's something very exciting I found while I was doing my routine perusal of Eleni Konstantine's blog:

May 15th is the date for the RWA's SA Roadshow - Romancing the Novel Seminar. As Eleni says, if you're in South Australia and would like to see a great line-up of authors, check out the SARA (South Australian Romance Authors) website linked above.

Guest speakers include Anna Campbell and Yvonne Lindsay, plus an excellent array of local romance authors.

As I said, exciting! :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

If you're a fan of Aussie Nocturne Bites...

then listen up!

Mel Teshco's vampire Bites, HER DARK LORD, is OUT NOW!  Congrats, Mel!

When dhampir Kia Montana takes a man home, she isn’t looking for names or a relationship--she only wants someone who can satisfy her lust for both sex and blood. But Kia’s new mission is to find Sean Maximillus, Lord Vampire and the lone being capable of curing Kia’s mother. Kia thought she found the key to success with Ronan, a mysterious man who promises to take her to Maximillus…and who shares a carnal passion with Kia even bloodlust couldn't match.
But Ronan also seems to know too much about Kia...things she never told him. And as she is drawn deeper into Ronan's world, he reveals secrets that will change Kia's life forever...

And then, Anna Hackett's HUNTER'S SURRENDER is out next month. (Yay, Anna!)

Vampire hunter Rand Wilder hated vampires – even if they were as beautiful and alluring as vampire princess Dominique Valois. For years he fought the beings who had killed his father, resisting their dangerous sensuality. Yet even Rand was tempted by the intoxicating Dominique and her shocking offer: to hurt the vampire court by taking her virginity….

A desperate need to ruin her reputation had forced Dominique to seek out the hunter known as The Darkness. But she hadn’t expected Rand to be so captivating and compassionate…. Soon a very different sort of need drove her desire to take Rand to her bed. And with Dominique’s survival depending on it, she would have to use all her skills of seduction to make this strong hunter surrender to passion….

The common link?  It's all about the vampires!

Anna and Mel have joined together to celebrate their releases and are giving away a NOCTURNE BITES EVERY WEEK for the next TWO MONTHS on their respective blogs!  How massively cool is that?  I'm gonna be all over it...

This week, until Sunday (oztime), Mel is giving away HER DARK LORD at her blog, and next week, Anna has Michele Hauf's THE VAMPIRE'S TANGO up for grabs.

Hit the blogs (names are linked up there...) and comment to be in the running!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A review - NIGHT'S COLD KISS, Tracey O'Hara.

NIGHT’S COLD KISS - Tracey O’Hara (Australia)
Publisher: Eos (Urban Fantasy) - A Harper Collins Imprint
Date published: August, 2009.
ISBN: 0061783137    (isbn13: 9780061783135)
Mass-market paperback - 332 pages.  
For centuries war raged between the humans and Aeternus vampires—until courageous efforts on both sides forged a fragile peace.
But the rogue Necrodreniacs will never be controlled—addicted as they are to the death-high . . . and bloody chaos.
Since witnessing the murder of her mother, Antoinette Petrescu has burned with fiery hatred for the vampire race—even for Christian Laroque, the noble, dangerously handsome Aeternus who rescued her. Now an elite Venator, Antoinette must reluctantly accept Christian's help to achieve her vengeance—even as he plots to use the beautiful, unsuspecting warrior as bait to draw out the bloodthirsty dreniacs.
Night’s Cold Kiss is Tracey O’Hara’s debut effort, marketed as “A Dark Brethren Novel”.  It’s set in modern-day America, but has numerous cool futuristic bits.
Antoinette Petrescu is a tough chick with a chip the size of a redgum on her shoulder - and rightly so - a parahuman killed her mother before he six-year-old eyes.  As a result,  her hatred for any vampiric race consumes her.  Now a Venator - a Necrodreniac hunter and exterminator - she’s dogged by a parahuman who keeps slaughtering woman who look just like her.  It becomes increasingly obvious that this parahuman is also the person that killed her mother - and he was supposed to have died in a fire.  Now he’s back, killing blonde girls, as a plain old, albeit very well-trained, human, Antoinette’s not safe.
Enter Christian Laroque, an Aeternus Vampire from the CHaPR (Council for Human and Parahuman Relations), who agrees to work with Antoinette, and investigate the deaths while keeping her safe.  Antoinette does not need to know of his own motivations for keeping her close.  Added to the conflict is the fact that Christian rescued Antoinette and her brother the night of her mother’s death and her father’s disappearance.
It burns Antoinette to have anything to do with the Vampire, but he is hard to argue with, and they’re fighting an attraction that consumes them both.  
I thought that was an excellent read - I enjoyed the slightly-different-than-usual vampire lore, and the characters, depth and world-building were great.  
Oh, and in case I’ve baffled you with any strange words, there is a handy glossary at the back of the book.  
Memorable scene:
In the stateroom on the private jet.  The words “blood thrall” have any meaning for you?  Very hot.  
Least memorable part:
There were a few places early in the book where I was jolted out of the story wanting to pop a few commas and such in.  The last half of the book, I never even thought about it.  Possibly, if you’re not a writer, you might not even notice.  
A big thumbs up for Tracey O’Hara and her debut novel.  As Nalini Singh states on the cover, “Intense, sexy, bold.”  
Can’t argue with that.  
Take care, E.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Romance novel covers - revamped.

You know how sometimes covers for your favourite novels of lerve,  might - just maybe - have an incredibly cheese-ridden cover?  Regardless of the story-telling genius inside?  I often look at them and ask myself, "What are those two THINKING?!"

I challenge you to peruse these creations from Mark Longmire, and not laugh yourself daft.

E x

Monday, February 15, 2010

How do you deal with your Inner Editor?

I wanted to call her the Inner B*tch, but I was being ladylike...

One of my gorgeous CP's  - Anna Hackett - has got a great post on her blog about how she deals with her Inner Critic.  I was delighted to read that even the published authors are dogged by little voices in their heads, spouting esteem-destroying nonsense.  

Go and see if what she says resounds for you.

Take care, Em x

PS - I'm hoping you haven't dropped by to see how my Bites pitch effort went.  Erm, it didn't.  I was a bit behind anyway, and life got in the way.  I had a fabulous blurb, but didn't want to send in a sub-standard story.  I'll finish it up and send it in via the usual channels...

Monday, January 25, 2010

No, I'm not dead...

HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!  Wishing all Aussies much vegemite, lamb, sunburn and beer for tomorrow!

Wow.  I haven't been here to post since November.  Someone shoulda told me that it had been so long!  I have been making it a practise to take December and January off writing - it's better for my family, but I still feel like I neglect the cyberworld when I do that.  Just call me ham (of the ham sandwich - get it?  Er, right.). 

Happy 20-10 to everyone!

I'm calling this the year I get published.  Which I did say last year, I know.  That's the beauty of unfulfilled yearly goals.  They're re-useable.  And I've got a bagful of the sodding things. 

Wanna hear about goals for 2010?  Sure you do.  Yes, nice save.  Okay, here goes...  In no particular order...

1.  Write 3 x 15 novellas to submission-standard.  This will require me sticking to a timetable, which worked well in the last part of last year. 
2.  Lose 20kgs.  Blah.  That sounds horrible - a cliche.  I'd love to say I'm one of those people who doesn't need to get fit, but I'm not.  I've been blaming the having of three kids, but I think it's probably just me.  I lost a bit from October to December.  Which I promptly re-discovered in the bottoms of numerous wine bottles over the silly season.  PLAN:  Walk four times a week.  Time to get out the audio books!
3.  Keep a daily journal - going well so far...
4.  Blog fortnightly - fear not, dear readers!
5.  Attend SARA meetings. 
6.  Spend time with my eldest child - she has some learning difficulties.
7.  Spend time with my second - she's just starting school.
8.  Spend time with the baby - because, well, he's a baby, and they can't fend well for themselves.
9.  Spend time with Mr L.  A man of great gorgeousness...
10.  THE BIG ONE - Find balance between the aspects of my life, which is essentially all of the above.

Sound good?  Okay.  Goals out of system. 

Now for some news:

Anna Hackett had a great start to 2010 - she sold another Nocturne Bites on the first day of the year.  It's a fabulous novella called HUNTER'S SURRENDER, out in April this year.

Check this little teaser from Anna's blog, Midnight Confessions.

Sixteen days later, I got my second R from Nocturne Bites for 'Firestarter'.  It was quick this time - only two and a half months.  Luckily, I was still a bit inebriated after searching for all my misplaced weight in those bottles and it didn't sting.  Much.  :)

I'm reader judging for the R*BY again, RWAs Romantic Book of the Year.  They should be here at the end of next month. 

Nocturne Bites is running another Pitch Contest!  I'm having another go this year.  Last year's winner, Nicola, has her winning entry, THE PROPHECY, coming out next Month, under the pen name Nina Croft.  Connie Hall also has TIME JUMPER available then, too.

Mel Teshco has a name for her Bites coming out in March - HER DARK LORD.  Mel's working title was "Blood Chance", which we all loved, but you know the title gods...

The Nocturne Authors have a new website.  It's so pretty!  Is it just me, or does the guy on the top banner look a hell of a lot like Hugh Jackman?  Maybe I wish...

Finally, Anna and Mel (and loads of other fab authors) are part of a cool eplace called LoveCats DownUnder, a blog for Aussie/NZ authors of category romace.  It's a fun spot, go have a look! 

In Australia, Intrigue Nocturnes in stores now are:

BEAST OF DESIRE - Lisa Renee Jones
MIND GAMES - Merline Lovelace. 
(Am slightly peeved I was on holidays when these came out and I missed them!  Would have loved the Lovelace.  Phooey.)

Nocturnes coming out in print in February are:

and March:
DARK DECEIVER - Pamela Palmer

Right.  Well.  That pitch I mentioned is having some difficulty writing itself.  I'll go give it a hand. 

Take care, Em x

(P.S. Slip, Slop, Slap tomorrow!)


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