Sunday, August 14, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
I have a pile of books I've bought and read, and despite really, really, REALLY wanting to like them, I just can't. I've paid for them, after all, and I can't get the money back. I refuse to add these books to my bookshelf because I don't want the good books to be mixed with the terrible ones (as if they'll be tainted, or something! Ba ha ha ha).
What do you do with the books you don't want? I donate them to charity, and feel awful because I'm giving away bad books (like I'm inflicting punishment on others) but I'm not sure what to do. Should I put them in the recycle bin? Should these books be mashed into a pulp and turned into something more useful? Should I light a bonfire to ward off bad characters and terrible plot lines?
Monday, May 30, 2011
As I can't make the Melbourne event, I'll be participating in the Clayton's Conference online. I've heard positive feedback about Clayton's and the activities/workshops/speakers on offer, so I'm quite excited. It's great to catch up with other writers and discuss what's new and exciting in the romance writing world, even if it isn't in person.
Who will be joining me for Clayton's, I wonder? Hmm...
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Well, the latest book I've read in my 'investigation' is Loretta Chase's Lord of Scoundrels. I'm actually ashamed to say I've never read a Loretta Chase novel, and I'm appalled that I've waited so long to so, as she is BRILLIANT.
Lord of Scoundrels had me laughing and completely hooked from the beginning to the end. Every aspect of this novel appealed to me, from the characters to the dialogue (which is witty and sharp). The hero is sinful and described in very unflattering terms, but the heroine sees beyond this and can't help falling for 'the Devil's spawn'. The heroine is very funny, and possesses the strength of character to make this bad boy fall hard... and boy, does he fall!
It is, without a doubt, one of the best romance novels I've ever read. It was so good that I went and ordered about half a dozen other Loretta Chase novels to discover other characters she's created. I've already read Don't Tempt Me, which is excellent, and I'm in the process of reading Your Scandalous Ways, which is also very good. She is a fantastic author, and I'd have to say she's now on my list of all-time fave romance authors.
If you haven't checked out Lord of Scoundrels, you MUST grab a copy. It's a keeper, without a doubt.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
I really hope these entrants are published one day. Fingers crossed for them, and also to everyone else who puts the time and effort into achieving their dream. It's a long road, but it's nice to have the help and support of others along the way.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Firstly, I've just finished reading a Harlequin romance, and the cover model was a brunette when the heroine is, quite distinctly, blonde. Every time I looked at the cover, it irritated me. I found myself picturing the heroine as the cover model, then being rudely reminded of how wrong I was when the author referred to her as a 'tall blonde' *growl*. Ever had this experience? How hard is it to get a cover right? Did it ruin the book for you?
Secondly, there was an article in Ralph Magazine (such a reliable and news-worthy source!) about the 'neosexual male'. Basically it's a new term someone has coined for a man who can sing and dance, yet be also a hunter/gatherer type as well. They've used my fave hero as an example, so it's well worth thinking about *wink*.
Okay, so the third book I've decided to look at which romance readers apparently adore, is Julie Garwood's The Secret. I've never read Julie Garwood before, but I do have another book of hers that readers rave about, and that's The Bride, which I'll look at another time.
Anyway, The Secret is set in Scotland in the 12th century. English Lady, Judith Hampton, is to attend the birth of her Scottish friend's first child, and the Laird, Iain Maitland, is to escort her safely from England to the Highland home of his sister-in-law (Judith's friend). Of course, romance develops, but there's a big secret - Judith is the daughter of Laird Maclean, an enemy of Iain Maitland and his clan.
It's beautifully written and an engaging tale, although I did have trouble believing some elements of the story/some dialogue because of the time period. I'm no expert on 12th century Britain, but there was certainly a modern feel to the story.
The hero and heroine were great characters. The heroine had guts and determination, and the hero was gorgeous, despite being a bit surly at times. The romance between them was believable, the author was quite humorous throughout, and I was really pleased by the ending.
I'm looking forward to reading The Bride, and I can understand why Julie Garwood is so popular. The Secret is a great book, but not necessarily one I'd consider as an all time favourite. I enjoyed it, but it didn't make my heart sing as much as I'd hoped it would. I will, however, be putting it on my 'keepers' shelf, and hopefully I'll be adding more of Julie's collection in the future.
Anyone else a Julie Garwood fan? What do you think of The Secret?
Have a great week,
Monday, March 7, 2011
Yeah, it's been a while since I've blogged. I've been busy reading craft books, making notes about an idea I'm working on and marking contest entries. I've also been enjoying my life and family, and taking the time to read as much as I can.
Previously, I wrote a blog post about the best romance novels of all time. I've made it my mission to get my hands on the books people rate as they best of the genre, and so far I've accumulated about ten books from the 'best of' lists I've found on the web. I'm still waiting for some book orders to arrive, and I'm so excited to read them to see if there's something the writer in me can learn from these treasured novels.
Last time I talked about Outlander. I'm up to book five in the series, and I now understand why people love Diana Gabaldon. But today I'm looking at a different time-travel novel that appears to be adored by readers, and that's Jude Deveraux's A Knight in Shining Armor.
I'm a fan of Jude's, and have read her books before. I've never read this book, though, and I will admit it was a struggle to read this initially as the heroine appeared to be a bit of a doormat (I won't ruin the story, but her boyfriend isn't nice, to put it mildly). It's not until she cries on the tomb of the hero, who is from the sixteenth-century, and brings him to the twentieth century, that she develops some backbone.
When you read the letter from Jude at the back of the book explaining why she wrote the heroine the way she did it becomes clearer. Essentially, the heroine is supposed to rise up against an abusive relationship, and through her love of the hero, discover her strength. It all makes sense, and once you get to know the hero and the heroine, you learn to love them. The heroine redeems herself, and the the hero is just so sexy, I'd happily travel through time for him!
I had some issues with the way the book was written early on. It seemed a little clunky, but it gets better/smoother as it progresses. The twists will keep you hooked, and you will either be a bit sad or thoroughly delighted by the end. I'm teetering between the two. Either way, I can completely understand why readers love this book, and it'll be one of my keepers. I already miss reading about the hero!
I'll be back again with the next book in my search for the best romance novels of all time. Not sure when, but hopefully soon.
Bye for now,
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
The detail is amazing, and it's obvious Diana did a lot of research into the Scottish time period she set the majority of the book in. I love history, but as I was after romance, I found myself getting a little tired of waiting for some action in that area. Once the romance really began, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, and found Claire to be an interesting heroine. Jamie, her highlander lover, possesses the wonderful qualities of a romantic hero - attractive, brave, loyal, loving and dedicated to the heroine.
Diana can certainly tell a wonderful story, and knows how to suck a reader into the world she has created. Although I can understand why people love this book (and I will HAVE to buy the rest of the series as I need to know how it all plays out!), I don't know whether I'd consider this one of my favourite romance novels of all time. It's partly to do with my issue with Claire's relationship with Frank being unresolved/rather murky. I won't explain further as this will ruin it for readers who haven't read the book, but if you have, you'll know what I mean. I'm interested to see if people have an issue with this at all, but I felt Claire didn't pine after her husband enough, in my opinion.
All in all, it's a fantastic book and well worth reading, but if you are after a classic romance, this may not quite fit the bill. As I've mentioned before, I'll definitely get the rest of the series, however I won't have the expectation that it'll pan out like a typical romance with a HEA. I could be wrong, but I look forward to finding out if I am.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
I have $100 to spend on books, and I'd like to purchase some of the BEST romance novels of all time. I don't care if they're from a particular sub genre/line/series/author/publisher, whatever, I just want to know what YOU think is the best romance novel EVER. If there's more than one on your list, then please tell me what they are - I'll read the blurbs, see if they tickle my fancy, and then I'll spend up big time!
I've started reading lists on the web, and have discovered a few of the books in my library are on there. I consider it research to see what truly appeals to romance readers, and if I can read the books that readers/writers believe are the best of the genre, I can (hopefully) discover the necessary ingredients to make my own work shine. I'll also review some of the books as the months progress for those of you who are interested.
Thanks in advance!
QUICK POST UPDATE: Just wanted to mention that today is R U OK? Day in Australia, and my fave hero, Hugh Jackman, is an ambassador. It's all about suicide prevention, which is a fantastic cause, so if you know someone who may be a bit down, maybe ask them if they're okay? Check out the video, plus there's also Hugh's interview about his World Vision trip to Ethiopia and his appearance at the United Nations. Aw, what a nice guy!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Hope all of you in the writing blogosphere are making more progress than I am at the moment!
Monday, September 20, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Just a quick post to say I'm having computer issues. No, I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth, been abducted by aliens, or kidnapped by some handsome pirate (pity). Will be back to blogging properly by the end of the week. I hope. Fingers crossed.
Wanted to post about how I was driving along a motorway on the weekend listening to the Shrek soundtrack (my kids were in the backseat and mummy caters to their musical tastes!) when 'Holding out for a Hero' came on. Remember the scene where the Fairy Godmother, voiced by Jennifer Saunders, writhes around on the piano and Shrek comes and saves Princess Fiona from Prince Charming? Well, I was singing loudly and bopping along to the tune, when I looked up and saw a billboard of his Hughliness advertising Lipton Ice Tea *swoon*. I thought it was fitting that I was singing the song, and my ultimate fantasy hero was smiling back at me. Put me in a very good mood despite the traffic chaos *vbg*. Also made me thirsty for an Ice Tea, and I don't even like the stuff!
Off to do some more plotting for my current wip. Hope you all have a wonderful week,
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Found an interesting article recently about how much money a writer can make. It made me realise what a tough business this is, and how money can't be the only driving force for a writer - you really need passion for, and dedication to, your craft. Check out the post at The Rejector blog.
On a brigher note, I've done a quick revamp/update of the Bootcamp 109 blog (some of us were those crazy people at the conference Silver Lunch!), so check out our new look blog.
And... I'm following a bit of trend here by doing some promo for the very lovely Christina Phillips who I FINALLY got to meet at the conference (I may have hugged the poor woman about half a dozen times!).
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 http://christinaphillips.blogspot.com. 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. Check out the fabulous Trailer!
Bye for now,
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Have you ever had one of those moments where you've been working on your brilliant *ahem* manuscript, when you discover your idea is already out there in the big wide world?
Yesterday I had a moment of panic when I realised I wasn't so original after all. Heavens above, how could that be?! *rolls eyes*. I'd been soooo good, fighting my pantser ways (very hard thing for me to do), and committed to plotting, planning, working on characterisation etc. on this ms (yep, taking what I learnt at the conference and actually applying it rather than stuffing it into a drawer for later use), when I made my horrifying discovery *pulls hair out*.
What the hell do I do now? Do I keep working on the ms and put my own mark on a similar plot/storyline/concept? Do I hope that, by the time my ms is published (if ever) the world will have forgotten the other one? *looks hopeful*. Or is it a case of scrap all that hard work and start again?
Well, in order to cheer myself up, I'll have to pick a hero of the week. Who shall it be? Can't think of anyone off hand (apart from trusty, but I haven't found any good new pics of him lately). Any ideas? I'm looking for some new inspiration, and will happily take any suggestions!
Monday, August 16, 2010
Also proud of the Bootcampers who worked hard on the Silver Lunch for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. We managed to make just over $5,000 (Military Marilyns rock!), and Harlequin threw in $5,000 on top. How awesome!
All in all it was a busy and fun weekend. I'm absolutely buggered today, just as I'm sure everyone else who attended is. Wanted to say a special thanks to Paula Roe again for the fantastic prize of craft books I won during the raffle because I need all the help I can get! Lol.
Thanks to everyone who was involved in organising the conference. You did a fantastic job, and should be very proud of yourselves.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Having one of those weeks where there aren't enough hours to do everything I need to do. I'm sure you all know what I mean, especially those of you packing/preparing for the RWA conference!
I'm currently compiling lists and menu selections for the E-List Dinner (if you're on ROMAUS you need to check the messages and get back to me if you want to come) as well as sorting my outfits for next weekend. I'm having a hard time deciding what to wear for the cocktail party, so I may resort to pulling out one of my well-worn dress-up costumes.
Anyway, wanted to share a really interesting link to Kate Walker's blog where she's been discussing conflict in writing. It appears she's been discussing the topic for quite some time, but I missed the previous posts. Go to http://www.kate-walker.blogspot.com/ and read through the posts on the topic. She makes some really good points, and as multi published Harlequin author, she knows what she's talking about.
Oh, and forgot my hero of the week is Mike Rowe from the Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs program. He has a great voice, is a bit rough around the edges, and extremely likeable. Looks pretty good without a shirt on (added bonus!) but don't tell my hubby I said that!
Off to sort out my wardrobe,