23 December 2011

Lovely review

Have had a great review for Say It with Diamonds. The lovely RLA, who is nearing the end of an awesome 365-books-in-365-days challenge, gives it 4 out of 5 stars and says...

"Bella is a fabulous heroine; quirky, fun, and interesting. She is the perfect balm to Will's brooding and damaged personality. The sexual tension is so thick you could almost cut it, and *that* scene in the back on the limo is scorching! The story itself is deep, emotional and interesting, and very well written.

Full of sass as well as emotion, all in Lucy King's very unique and utterly compelling style. I loved it!"

Thank you, RLA! To read the full review, click here.

22 December 2011

Sold!

Book 5 has sold! This one is the story of Jack, Luke's best friend and the laid back charmer in Bought: Damsel in Distress, and Imogen, a socialite on a mission. It even features the hideous painting of the scorpion that Jack ends up winning at the charity auction in Bought.

No title yet, but apparently it'll be out as an M&B Modern in September 2012. What a fabby early Christmas present!

14 December 2011

Harlequin Open House

Today sees the 10th Annual Harlequin Community Open House, where Harlequin authors and fans can mingle and meet (without having to leave our sitting rooms!) all day. There are virtual mince pies and wine, and REAL prizes, so come and join the party. Hope to see you there!

13 December 2011

Baby it's cold outside

I'm now in the UK. It's brutally cold and stormy, but that's absolutely fine - all the more reason to sit snuggled up drinking tea in front of the fire. The weather and being bundled up in wool does, however, make it tricky to conjure up the mood for the sultry Spanish summer in which my wip is set, but I shall persevere. Perhaps with something considerably stronger than tea...

01 December 2011

December already?

How did it get to be December so quickly? And where did all those virtuous plans to have my Christmas shopping done and dusted weeks ago go? The same place as November, I suppose.

One fab thing about December (as if there aren't enough already) is that Say It with Diamonds is now available here on the Mills & Boon website. Here's the blurb...

All that sparkles...

At thirty-five, Bella might be an expert on diamonds-but she's still missing a big fat one on the third finger of her left hand. However, at least she has her successful jewellery business-with very interesting new client William Cameron, AKA the Duke of Hawksley, no less!

She's expecting portly and chinless-but actually Will's tall, dark and so distractingly good-looking it's hard to concentrate on his jewels! More of a surprise: this weird chemistry between them is actually mutual. Urgent... And it catches them completely unawares in a black London taxi...

All that glitters is not gold. All that sparkles isn't diamond. All men who turn you on aren't the real thing. But being cynical gets boring...maybe it's time for Bella to throw caution to the winds...?

Hmm... Diamonds in my Christmas stocking? Now wouldn't that be lovely?!

27 November 2011

Quality control

My revisions are back with my editor. The 'tweaks' ended up adding 5000 works so I had to get cutting. What with my love of adverbs -along with a new tendency to waffle and repeat myself - this wasn't nearly as painful as I'd imagined. In fact, it made a nice change from worrying I'll never make the word count, which happens with every book I write.

Now with a bit of a break, I've been baking muffins - carrot/orange and spinach/parmesan. Ostensibly these are snacks for my toddler, but obviously I've had to check they're OK. Quality control is so important, isn't it?!

24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my American readers, Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope you have a lovely day.

18 November 2011

Say It with Diamonds

My website now has a brand new page for my January M&B, Say It with Diamonds. There's the blurb, the inspiration for the story and an extract. Woohoo! (Have I mentioned how much I loved writing this story???) Check it all out here.

16 November 2011

Revisions and happy endings

Revisions for Jack and Imogen's story have arrived and are mercifully minor. They mainly focus on adding a showdown scene to plumb the characters' emotional depths, and the intensifying the ending.

Intensifying the ending is a revision I often get, probably because as a deadline looms I tend to rush it. In real life I'm not hugely sentimental, so I'm always tempted to just write 'hey, sorry, I've been an idiot but I love you, so how about it?', but am aware this kind of approach may not be entirely appropriate in a romantic novel. After all the emotional build-up and the awful moment where it looks as if everything's gone irredeemably pear-shaped, the reader deserves a bit more than 'yeah, sure, why not?'.

So over the next day or two, I supsect it's not just my characters' emotional depths that are going to be plumbed, but mine too. It could be painful.

How do you feel about writing that happy ending? Do you love it or hate it?

14 November 2011

A baby crow of doubt

I think I've given myself a bit of a challenge re the next book. I have a heroine with PTSD and some serious hangups and a story that, being Riva, is supposed to be sassy, flirty and sizzly. Hmm, not exactly a match made in heaven...

04 November 2011

New Voices winner announced!

First of all many congratulations to the winner of the New Voices comp, Natalie Charles with her entry, The Seven Day Target. It's a fab story and a very worthy winner.

I'm back home after a few days in the UK which involved AMBA lunching and grandparent/grandson bonding, and have been fairly snowed under with exam marking and panicking about my next book. The latter has been through so many incarnations I've rewritten the first three thousand words half a dozen times at least. Therefore I have no plans this weekend except hopefully adding to my very paltry wordcount (NaNoWriMo is but a distant dream). Hope you're all up to something more exciting!

24 October 2011

Cover love


I've just seen the cover for my next book, Say It with Diamonds, out in the UK in January, and am having serious cover love. (And even more serious gem envy - check out those rocks!)

Bella, the heroine, is a jeweller who meets the hero, Will, when he takes a sample of his family's jewellery collection to be valued. However, all is not as it seems...

As you can see instead of being released as a Riva, it's out as a Modern, but the story's still (I hope) Riva-ish in feel.

I have to say I loved writing this one!

22 October 2011

NV

I'm having a lovely Saturday reading the second chapters of the 21 New Voices finalists. What an awesomely talented bunch - am gripped! I really don't envy the editors at M&B the task of having to whittle down the shortlist...

10 October 2011

Creating Characters

Creating the characters for my next story (the stage I'm currently at) is one of my favourite parts of the whole writing process.

I've realised that main reason I had such trouble with books 2 & 3 was that I was so eager to get writing, I didn't have a good grip on who my hero and heroine really were. I had no idea what motivated them or why they behaved the way they did and consequently fell into the schoolgirl error of trying to shoehorn them into the plot. With such dire intial results that both books had to be rethought and rewritten.

Now I hope I know a bit better. Which is why I spend days nailing down every tiny detail of their personalities, lives and backgrounds before launching in with the help of the character questionnaire in Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance and this: The Enneagram Made Easy. Both make me add facets to my characters that I'd never think of and help keep their behaviour consistent.

Following the personality types set out by the enneagram, my new heroine is an 8 (Asserter - direct, independent, upholder of just causes) and my hero a 5 (Observer - analytical, self-contained, calm in a crisis). As I can already see the sparks flying I can't wait to get started on their story!

How do you build your characters?

30 September 2011

Rejoining the land of the living

The book is in (on time!!) which means that I can now catch up on all the many things that have been piling up: tax return, filing, cooking, washing... Or I could kick up my heels and browse the entries in the New Voices competition...

One thing that kept me going yesterday as I was speeding towards the finish line was the lovely review for my current Harlequin Presents release, The Crown Affair, over at Cataromance. Julie says

Lucy King is on top form with The Crown Affair! An addictive page-turner that brilliantly juxtaposes laugh-out loud humour with steamy sensuality and heart-tugging pathos, The Crown Affair is a lively contemporary romance with a lovely heroine you will love and a gorgeous hero you are sure to swoon over.

A sparkling tale of unexpected blessings, chance encounters and red-hot passion, The Crown Affair is another keeper by Lucy King!

The full review is here. Thank you, Julie!

28 September 2011

New Voices - free ebook

Goodness it's been a long time since I last blogged... My only excuse is that I've been hard at work trying to finish my wip in time for my deadline on Friday and haven't been doing much of anything apart from writing!

In the meantime, the Mills & Boon New Voices competition has launched and so far has a staggering 411 entries. I wish I could read them all (hmm, maybe after Friday...) but good luck to everyone who's entered or is planning to. It takes a lot of guts to put your work out there so congratulations to all entrants for taking that giant step.

And to help all aspiring authors, the fabulous editors at M&B have put together a free eBook with tips and hints galore (including a section from me about a good hero grovel!). You can download it from Amazon here (and at the iBook store by searching for secrets uncovered boon). It's also available in Adobe Digital Editions from the M&B website here.

Hope to be back soon!

02 September 2011

On Royalty

In celebration of the release of The Crown Affair in the US, I am over at iheartpresents today talking about royal romance. Pop over and tell me what you think!

01 September 2011

Out in the US

The Crown Affair is out in the US this month! Woohoo!

31 August 2011

Tag Team

My fellow Riva writer and all round romance goddess, Nicola Marsh, has a short story up on Amazon. It's called Tag Team and here's the blurb...

A Victorian Police Special Ops team leader joins forces with an Australian Defence Force Tactical Assault Group expert who specializes in biological warfare to stop an imminent chemical threat.

When the threat becomes personal and the body count mounts, they find themselves locked in a safe room, where they discover their sizzling history takes little to ignite.

How fab does that sound??? I've downloaded it to my Kindle and as soon as I've finished my wordcount for the day I'll be tucking in (if I can hold out that long). You can get it here if you're in the UK and here in the US. Enjoy!

29 August 2011

New Voices

Only two weeks to go now to the launch of the new M&B New Voices competition, and how exciting is that! Visit romanceisnotdead.com for all the deets, but in the meantime, here's a list of all the workshops being held around the UK by M&B authors and editors. What a treat! If only I could go...
  • Wednesday 31st August, 11.00am-1.00pm
    Event Leader: KATE WALKER
    ASHBY LIBRARY AND LOCAL LINK, Ashby High Street, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN16 2RY
    Tickets cost £5, including refreshments. For more information please call Emma Prideaux on 01724 860161 or email library.enquiries@northlincs.gov.uk.
  • Wednesday 31st August, 2.00pm-3.30pm
    Event Leader: LIZ FIELDING
    PONTARDAWE LIBRARY, Holly Street, Pontardawe, Swansea, SA8 4ET
    Please call 01792 862261 to book your place.
  • Friday 2nd September, 2.30pm-4.00pm
    Event Leader: MILLS & BOON EDITORS - Megan Haslam and Carly Corcoran
    CHIPPING BARNET LIBRARY, 3 Stapylton Road, Barnet, Herts. EN5 4QT
    To book your FREE place on this writing workshop, please call 020 8359 4040.
  • Thursday 8th September 6.30-8.00pm
    Event Leader: LOUISE ALLEN
    BECCLES LIBRARY, Blybur Gate, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 9TB
    To book your FREE place on this writing workshop, please call 01502 714073 to book your place.
  • Saturday 10th September, 10.00am-12.30pm
    Event Leader: JOANNA FULFORD
    ALFRETON LIBRARY, Severn Square, Alfreton, Derbyshire, DE55 7BQ
    Tickets are £5 and include refreshments. TO BOOK YOUR PLACE, please email Alison.betteridge@derbyshire.gov.uk or call 01773 831359.
  • Tuesday 13th September 10.30am-12noon
    Event Leader: KATE HARDY
    ATTLEBOROUGH LIBRARY, 31 Connaught Road, Attleborough, Norfolk, NR17 2BW
    To book your FREE place on the writing workshop, please call 01953 452319 or e-mail attleborough.lib@norfolk.gov.uk or myra.browne@norfolk.gov.uk.
  • Wednesday 14th September 6.30-8.00pm
    Event Leader: FIONA HARPER
    BRIXTON LIBRARY, Brixton Oval, London, SW2 1JQ
    Tickets from: Caroline Mackie at cmackie@lambeth.gov.uk
  • Saturday 17th September 2.30-4.00pm
    Event Leader: ANNE FRASER
    SHETTLESTON LIBRARY, 154 Wellshot Road, Glasgow G32 7AX
    To book your FREE place on the writing workshop, please call 0141 276 1643 .
  • Monday 19th September 2.00-3.30pm
    Event Leader: SHARON KENDRICK
    BASINGSTOKE DISCOVERY CENTRE, 19/20 Westminster House, Festival Place, Basingstoke, RG21 7LS
    Tickets are £5 and can be purchased from Basingstoke Discovery Centre information desk or over the phone on 01256 478670.
  • Tuesday 20th September 6.00-7.30pm
    Event Leader: MARGUERITE KAYE
    WHITEINCH LIBRARY, 14 Victoria Park Drive South, Glasgow G14 9RL
    Places are limited so booking is essential. To book your FREE place on the writing workshop, please call 0141 276 0695 .
  • Tuesday 20th September 6.30-8.00pm
    Event Leader: HEIDI RICE
    MAYFAIR LIBRARY, 25 South Audley Street, London W1K 2PB
    Places are limited so booking is essential. Tickets are £3. To book your place on the writing workshop, please call 020 7641 4905/4916 or email mayfairlibrary@westminster.gov.uk.
  • Wednesday 21st September 5.00-6.30pm
    Event Leader: MILLS & BOON EDITORS - Megan Haslam and Carly Corcoran
    BARKING LIBRARY, Barking Learning Centre, 2 Town Square, Barking, London IG11 7NB
    Places are limited so booking is essential. To book your FREE place on the writing workshop, please call 020 8724 8719 or email denise.lovelace@lbbd.gov.uk.
  • Monday 26th September 6.00-7.30pm
    Event Leader: HEIDI RICE
    FULHAM LIBRARY, 598 Fulham Road, Fulham, London, SW6 5NX
    Places are limited so booking is essential. To book your FREE place on the writing workshop, please call 020 7753 3877 or email clare.edgson@lbhf.gov.uk or rob.symmons@lbhf.gov.uk.

25 August 2011

As I only have a month or so to go til my deadline and still have a LONG way to go before being able to type The End, I'm tucked away in my study, knuckling down and getting to serious grips with my wip.

At the moment, my hero is taking my heroine back to his place. Originally I had him living in Mayfair, but while idly googling images of central London flats I decided to relocate him. To Knightsbridge, and a penthouse in the super swanky No 1 Hyde Park:

[image deleted]

Many moons ago I used to work at an oil company located in the building that previously occupied the site. It used to look like this:

[image deleted]

Now it looks like this:

[image deleted]

Externally I'm not sure it's much of an improvement, but I bet the views are spectacular!

12 August 2011

Are books just for the middle class?

Hope not, but there's interesting article in the Guardian today asking why Waterstone's wasn't looted in the recent riots in England...

10 August 2011

Minxes of Romance

I'm over at the fabulous Minxes of Romance blog today offering deep, thought-provoking insights into wittering on about my writing.

07 August 2011

Piracy (sadly not of the Jack Sparrow kind)

Someone came to this blog looking for a free download of The Crown Affair. All I can say (that's printable, at least) is thanks for the heads-up.

05 August 2011

First sign of madness?

I’ve spent the last few days trying to shoehorn my characters into bed. I’ve cajoled and rewritten the chapter a dozen times but unfortunately they’re not having any of it (quite literally). It’s infuriating and I feel like I’ve been writing my way into a brick wall.

The conversations I’ve been having in my head go something like this:

Me: Why don’t you want to go to bed with Jack? He’s gorgeous and charming and fancies the pants off you. And you could really do with a boost to your ego. So what’s wrong with you?
Imogen (eyebrows shoot up): Wrong with me? Jack might be gorgeous and charming, but he reminds me too much of my lousy ex. (Shudders) No way am I going there again.
Me: You didn’t seem all that fussed a couple of pages ago. In fact I distinctly recall you being extremely tempted to go exactly there again.
Imogen: Yes, well, that was before I found out who he was. Besides reminding me of everything I’ve sworn to avoid, the man’s a complete waste of space and has a terrible reputation. I’d have to be mad to ever contemplate going to bed with him. In fact I’d be perfectly happy if I never laid eyes on him again.
Me (depressed): Oh.

Me: Jack, help me here. You’re supposed to be great with women. Heaven knows you’ve had enough practice. Can’t you switch on the charm and seduce Imogen into bed?
Jack (jaw drops in horror): Why on earth would I want to do something like that?
Me: For a start, you spent a large part of the evening flirting with her. Then you invited her out to dinner.
Jack (glowering): And then she went all weird on me. Sorry, but the woman is shallow and pointless and has some SERIOUS issues.
Me: You know she didn’t really mean to insult you like that, don’t you?
Jack (muttering): Whether she did or not she’s still bonkers. So thanks, but no thanks.

See what I have to put up with? Anyway, today I gave up trying to make them what I want them to do, and am letting them do what they want to do. Not entirely surprisingly, the brick wall has disappeared and things have become a whole lot easier. Harrumph. You’d have thought by now I’d have learnt to avoid this basic mistake, but apparently not...

01 August 2011

Out and about

It's 1st August and that means The Crown Affair is out in a variety of places!

Firstly in the UK it should be hitting the shelves any day now. Secondly it's downloadable to Kindle and ibooks. And in the US it's available on harlequin.com.

Here's what RT Book Reviews thinks of it...

THE CROWN AFFAIR (4) by Lucy King: She wouldn’t be human if the shirtless man toiling in her neighbor’s backyard didn’t bring out her inner voyeur, but architect Laura Mackenzie doesn’t expect to be caught in the act. And it isn’t long before Laura agrees to a one-night, no-strings affair under his roof. After all, what are the chances Matt will end up her boss on his isolated Mediterranean island kingdom? With an abundance of humor and sizzle, this story charms from start to finish.


Thank you, Sandra!

26 July 2011

8 years

Today is my wedding anniversary!

26th July 2003

21 July 2011

What's it all about?

Whenever I start a new book I set up a spreadsheet with dates and word counts targets. I calculate what I need to do by when, taking into account any days I know I'm not going to be able to write. According to the spreadsheet for my wip, the last time I looked at it was 17th June. (!!!) According to the same spreadsheet my word count ought to be 35,000. Unfortunately it languishes somewhere around half that.

Not that I've been sitting on the sofa, watching TV and eating biscuits. No. The intervening weeks have passed by in a bit of a blur because I've:

- attended the RWA conference in New York
- been to my cousin's wedding in London
- marked 3092 exam papers (not that I'm counting)
- done the line edits for Say It With Diamonds

as well as tackling all the little things that life with a 14mth old involves. (How can they generate so much washing? And as for eating... My mother asked if he was eating less now it was so hot. Huh? Not so as you'd notice.)

The more time spent away away from my story, the more sure I am that what I've written is complete rubbish. The more that happens the more nervious I am of going back to it. Something of a vicious circle.

Anyway I've bitten the bullet and read through the 18000 words, and although I'm not 100% sure about the heroine's name, but am 100% sure that the story starts in the wrong place, it's not as awful as I feared. In fact, now I've reaquainted myself with the characters and the plot (which had become decidedly fuzzy), I can't wait to get stuck back in. Fingers crossed for a smooth run up to my September deadline...

16 July 2011

And the winners are...

Suzanne and lollslynne!

Send me your address either by using my contact form or sending me an email (info at lucykingbooks dot com) and I'll pop a copy of The Crown Affair in the post.

Many thanks for all the comments and emails!

14 July 2011

Giveaway

My RIVA copies of The Crown Affair have just arrived and they're absolutely gorgeous. To celebrate, I have TWO to give away.

All you have to do is leave a comment here, or drop me an email (info at lucykingbooks dot com), and on Saturday I'll pick a couple of names out of a hat.

In the meantime, here's a teaser...

What exactly was it about that penetrating stare of his that pinned her to the spot? Why were her insides going all squirmy and quivery? And more importantly why wasn’t she taking advantage of the fact that he’d released her, and running off just as fast as her size sevens would carry her?

That was what the old Laura, the one who avoided confrontation like the plague and never said no, would have done. And despite the assertiveness course she’d recently completed, there was enough of the old her still floating around to make her long to run and bury herself under her duvet.

But scarpering in the face of confrontation wasn’t an option any longer, was it? Laura squared her jaw. No. Now she dealt with stuff. Or at least that was the idea. Up until now she hadn’t had the opportunity to practise.

Channelling everything she could remember from the course, Laura took a deep breath, stuck her chin up and returned his glare. ‘What do you want now?’

Who do you work for?’ he snapped.

She blinked and inwardly flinched. ‘That’s none of your business.’

What?’ His eyebrows shot up.

Laura bristled. ‘Well, who do you think you are hauling me around and demanding to know who I work for?’ She tilted her head and shot him a defiant stare. Her tutor would be proud. ‘You know, your small talk skills leave a lot to be desired.’

Matt’s face tightened. ‘I’m not interested in small talk. Do you or do you not work for Celebrity magazine?’

Laura frowned. Maybe the mushrooms she’d eaten for breakfast had had a touch of the magic about them, because this conversation had her baffled. ‘Of course I don’t. Currently I don’t work for anyone.’

Freelance?’ he snapped.

Made redundant, but there was no way she was going into that. ‘On sabbatical.’

Right,’ he drawled, clearly not believing her for a second. ‘Then why were you watching me?’


Don't forget to comment/email for a chance to win a copy!

11 July 2011

More Than Words


Have you heard of the Harlequin More Than Words program? Its aim is to enhance the well-being of women and its goals include raising awareness about causes that are of concern to women.

Every year Harlequin solicits nominations of ordinary women who have made extraordinary contributions to their communities. This year, they're choosing three recipients and will make a $15,000 donation to each of their chosen causes. Short stories, inspired by these women and their charitable work, will be written by some Harlequin authors and distributed for free as ebooks.

Nominations for the 2012 More Than Words program are open, so spread the word and nominate a woman who has been an inspiration to those around her. The deadline for submissions is 5th August 2011. For more info, check out www.harlequinmorethanwords.com.

08 July 2011

The Crown Affair

In all the excitement of the RWA, and what with not being sure what time of day it was let alone what month, I nearly forgot that my first Riva, The Crown Affair, is now available on the Mills & Boon website. A whole month before hitting the UK shelves! It features Matt, the reluctant ruler of a Mediterranean island kingdom, and Laura, a recently dumped and unexpectedly unemployed architect. What's supposed to be a one-night stand backfires when Laura gets a job working on Matt's island, and things end up getting a bit hot and steamy.

Click here to find out what inspired the story or to read an extract.

06 July 2011

RWA 2011

I'm now back home after a fabulous week in the States, and despite the 5-hrs-of-sleep nights, my liver having to work overtime to deal with the sudden influx of sauvignon blanc, and a voicebox hoarse from all the talking, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Here it is in pictures...


The Riva Girls
In front: Susan Stephens, Kimberly Lang, Jackie Braun
Behind: Fiona Harper, Bryony Green (Editor), Heidi Rice, Amy Andrews, Kelly Hunter


Appletinis


Margueritas


The Harlequin Ball

25 June 2011

Travels

I'm off this weekend to the RWA conference. Soooo excited!! Can't believe I'm going to be footloose and fancy free in New York for a WHOLE WEEK. After spending the last week marking endless exam papers, it's like the best present evah.

But first, a school reunion in London this evening. It's been 21 years since we left and can't wait to catch up. Someone's set up a Facebook page and people have been posting school photos from the 80s. All I can say is, OMG the HAIR... The 80s was NOT a kind decade to hair. Thank heavens for Frizzeze!

Happy Weekends!!

(Apols for all the exclamations marks, but am just the tiniest bit excited, don't you know.)

16 June 2011

Scintillating Voltage

Bought: Damsel in Distress is out in Dutch. According to Google Zinderend van spanning translates as 'Scintillating Voltage'. Personally I think it sounds more like the name of a Bond villain.

09 June 2011

Inspiration

As a treat for totting up 2500 words so far this morning, I've been browsing images of the delectable John Barrowman. Some might call it gratuitous ogling, but I like to call it Essential Research.

So meet the hero of my current wip, Jack Taylor. Laid-back, charming and utterly irresistible. Even to my heroine, who's adamant she's through with laid-back, charming and utterly irresistible men. However as she's just had her wicked way with him in a hotel laundry cupboard, I don't know who she thinks she's kidding.

[image deleted]

07 June 2011

Blurb!

Here's the blurb for The Crown Affair!

Close encounters of the Royal kind!

After being made redundant and finding her boyfriend in bed with another woman, Laura's decided it's time to take charge of her life! However, the last thing she expects is the new Laura to end up having wild, naked fun with the gorgeous guy next door…

Okay, she virtually runs away afterwards in shame—but so what? She soon gets a new job—on the Mediterranean island of Sassania, no less! But the island has a new king—aka Laura's guy-next-door! Now they're both in trouble, for King Matt should be focussing on affairs of the state, not be intent on re-igniting a hot affair of his own…

To find out what inspired the story or to read an extract, click here.

03 June 2011

New website!

Thanks to Liz Wilkinson at Bookwebs I have a fabulous (and much-needed) brand new website. It has reviews and extracts and much more besides so come on over and take a look...

www.lucykingbooks.com

I love love LOVE it, so many thanks, Liz!

27 May 2011

The Island of Enchantment

When the buzzer of my flat goes and the postlady at the other end of the intercom growls 'Correos!' I know she has a parcel for me. A delivery from Amazon is exciting (although that happens a lot less often now I have a Kindle), but what's even more thrilling is a delivery from Harlequin.

The postlady this morning handed me a box with the Italian translation of Propositioned by the Billionaire, which shares a spine with Mira Lyn Kelly's fabulous Wild Fling or a Wedding Ring? Just the incentive I need get on with the WIP!

25 May 2011

Happy Birthday

Today my little boy is one. I can't believe how fast this year's gone. Happy Birthday, William!

24 May 2011

Blessed by the cover fairy

I've spent the last week or so in the UK (among other things, celebrating my parents' 40th wedding anniversary!) and have come home to spy not one but TWO covers for The Crown Affair. So exciting. Don't you think the Riva cover is just gorgeous?!


Out in the UK in August


Out in the US in September

23 May 2011

Cliché bingo

There's been a bit of a furore going on in Romanceland following the Daily Mail's bizarre account of the RNA Summer Party. I was there (to hand over the trophy to this year's very worthy winner, Charlotte Betts for her debut novel, The Apothecary's Daughter, and to catch up with friends) and have to say, along with everyone else who attended, there wasn't a blue rinse, support hose or perm in sight. Of course I can't actually back this up with photographic evidence as I forgot to take my camera, but there are lots of pics here and here.

The brilliant and insightful Julie Cohen and Nicola Cornick (to name but a few) have commented on the DM article, and the fabulous Kate Johnson has started a #thisiswhataromancenovelistlookslike campaign on Twitter where you can upload your own photo and even buy the t-shirt!

Personally, I'm so sick of these yawningly predictable articles that I've created a new game, cliché bingo. So far my list of clichés to look out for in any article about romantic fiction includes...

Barbara Cartland
bodice ripper/ripping
swoon
manly
formula/formulaic
churn out
£100,000

Any other suggestions would be most welcome.

17 May 2011

Fav title so far...

Book 4 has a title! (*drumrolllllll*)

Say It With Diamonds

Sums up the story perfectly and I love it! It's out in the UK in Jan 2012.

13 May 2011

Sold!

Apparently my revisions for Bk 4 were fine, and it's sold! No idea of the title or release date yet, but with be back with the details as soon as I have them.

It was such a fun story to write, which was probably why I managed to finish it in two and a half months. Of course, taking the novel approach of actually knowing my characters and their conflict inside out BEFORE starting might have had a tiny bit to do with it.

Most writers, I guess, would take this as a given, but me? Noooooo. With the two previous two books I just dived in without really analysing my characters or knowing why they did what they did, and as a result ending up with dozens of rewrites. This time I let things swim around in my head for a bit before sitting down at the computer and it seems to have paid off (thank goodness, because another total rewrite might have finished me off).

Here's hoping this process works for Jack and Imogen's story!

02 May 2011

Game Theory for Socialites*

While waiting for the verdict on the revisions I turned in for Bk 4 (and not much liking all these bank holidays!), I'm thinking about ideas for the next book. I'm at that exciting-but-scary stage of figuring out my characters and their conflicts. Exciting because it could go anywhere and scary for exactly the same reason.

So far I have a gregarious yet lonely and restless It-girl and the gorgeous but emotionally bankrupt womaniser, Jack Taylor. Jack put in an appearance in Bought: Damsel in Distress as Luke's best friend, and has been demanding his own story ever since. Which he might regret when he sees what I plan to torment him with - and man, does he have issues!

I have the horrible suspicion, though, that it won't be long before he's getting his own back...

*Bk 5's working title

24 April 2011

21 April 2011

iPlayer v. Revisions?

Despite the temptation to catch up on the crime dramas and murder mysteries that I missed while away (Waking the Dead's over? Oh no!), I've just hit send on my revisions for The Real Thing (my title for Bk 4). They weren't huge - mainly tweaking a motivation here and the emotional intensity there - but were still a little fiddly.

Fingers crossed I've nailed them!

(And even if I haven't, I deleted 53 out of 133 'just's, 9 'gave him/herself a quick shake's and 14 'pretty much's so am feeling very virtuous!)

20 April 2011

RNA Joan Hessayon award shortlist

Announced today! And the nominees are...

Kate Jackson Second Chance (DC Thompson)
Molly Hopkins It Happened In Paris (Little, Brown)
Sally Clements Catch Me A Catch (Wild Rose Press)
Charlotte Betts The Apothecary's Daughter (Piatkus)
Paula Williams A Place Of Healing (My Weekly Pocket Novel)

Congrats to all the nominees! The winner will be announced at the fabulous RNA Summer Party in London on Wednesday 18th May 2011.

I’ll be there with my party shoes on. Will you?

08 April 2011

The well refilled

Hello! I'm back from holiday in South Africa, feeling refreshed and revitalised and with ideas for a new story bouncing around my head. We had such a lovely time, just moseying around and hanging out with family. We even went to a bush wedding where a couple of rhinoceroses turned up as uninvited guests. (Hmmm, now there's an idea for a story...)

But what a lot's been going on in the world of writing in the last fortnight! First of all, many congratulations to the winners of the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Awards. Fantastic stuff. And even more congratulations to all the RITA nominees, especially fellow RIVA author, Kelly Hunter, whose fabulous Red-Hot Renegade is up for Best Contemporary Series Romance. Can't wait to see her (if there's any justice in the world) pick up the prize in New York!

Revisions for the story I sent in before going away have landed in my inbox - mercifully minor, which makes a change - and my August release, The Crown Affair, (sans cover at the mo) is available for pre-order on Amazon. So lots of good things to banish the post-holiday blues!!

18 March 2011

Done!

The book is done and sitting in my editor's inbox - hooray! I've no doubt it'll come back with dozens of revisions (let's hope not a total rewrite like the last one) but in the meantime, I'm off on holiday. See you in a couple of weeks!

07 March 2011

Challenge update

So it's the first week in March and following my self-imposed challenge I'm supposed to have finished my wip. Needless to say, I haven't - although am not far off. I have to confess to being kind of fond of the story (which probably means it'll need no end of revising) and after taking two years to produce two books, getting this far in a couple of months is something of a relief. I'm off to South Africa in a fortnight, so here's hoping it'll be done and in my editor's inbox by then!

22 February 2011

Feeling the Facebook lurve


I'm not the most regular Facebooker on the planet - frankly I struggle to find anything interesting (or even not that interesting!) to say. But lately I've been trying to embrace the wonders of Facebook and have actually managed to set up pages for my books. Go me.

Each book has its own page, with the blurb, ISBNs, cover pics and other stuff that I'll hopefully keep up to date. Pop on over and take a look!

Bought: Damsel in Distress
Propositioned by the Billionaire
The Crown Affair

20 February 2011

Spousonomics

Thanks to the people over at Heroes and Heartbreakers, I've got another book I'd like to get my hands on.

According to Spousonomics: Using Economics to Master Love, Marriage and Dirty Dishes, "every marriage is its own little economy, a business of two with a finite number of resources that need to be allocated efficiently." Apparently "the key to keeping your sex life hot is keeping it affordable."

So next time anyone asks why romance novels feature so many billionaires, I'd be able to stun them into silence with economics. Hah!

Has anyone read it?

14 February 2011

Jumping around

As it's Valentine's Day and the day of love and romance and wotnot, I've decided to skip over the next unwritten ten thousand words or so of my wip to write the last chapter, in which my hero and heroine get to deal with their hangups and fight for their HEA.

Or at least, that's the plan! I've never written in a non-linear way like this before, but having spent the last week editing and fixing the first half, I am feeling the need to create. Lots. Once I get going I can produce around a thousand words an hour, and while under no illusion that it will be any good when I go back and resume working my way towards it, at least the wordcount should rocket!

Does anyone else jump around when writing? And does anyone else find a soaring wordcount a major motivator?

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

13 February 2011

It's all Greek to me

I received Greek copies of Bought: Damsel in Distress yesterday. The title translates as A Modern Knight, which I love as much as seeing the whole cover pic! I wonder if the novelty of translations ever wears off...

In writing news I'm hitting my wordcount targets for my wip - just about - but am rather concerned about the slightly nutty plot, the hoards of secondary characters and my heroine's tendency to flounce.

In other news, my little boy has just learned stand and is keen to practise whenever possible. He currently favours 4am. I don't.

03 February 2011

A challenge

I've set myself a bit of a challenge and have decided to see if I can finish my next book by the end of February. This means writing at least 2000 words a day for the rest of the month (net of deletion), so naturally I'm finding all sorts of other Extremely Interesting and Important things to do. Yesterday I spent a considerable amount of time wondering if I could ever get the word humuhumunukunukuapua'a into a story and today I've been browsing the Harlequin Office for the Preservation of the Kiss. I can barely wait to see what excitements lie in store for tomorrow. I may even get to Chapter Five.

24 January 2011

The Crown Affair

I've spent the last two weeks marking 2500 EFL exam papers, which has left my poor old brain just the teensiest bit battered. But there's no rest for the wicked because what should drop into my inbox last week but the proofs for my August RIVA release, The Crown Affair. This story was such a marathon to write, and underwent so many incarnations at so many stages it's actually been fun to reread and see how it's all turned out. Apart from the alarming preponderance of 'practically's I kind of like it!

07 January 2011

Happy New Year


A bit late I know, but Happy New Year!!! Here's hoping 2011 is a good one!